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His Holiness Pope Pius XII died on 
October 9th, 19S8, after directing the 
spiritual welfare of more tha& 400,000,000 
Catholics throughout the world for nearly 
twenty years. He was one of the greatest 
and most beloved of all who have occupied 
the Chair of Peter and his influence, as a 
moral teacher and guide, has been felt and 
will long continue to be felt on some of 
the most controversial topics of our time. 

In this volume of selected Letters and 
Addresses, Maurice Quinlan a leading 
writer on Catholic affairs has assembled 
many of the late Pope's valuable and 
instructive pronouncements on the serious 
problems that perplex men and women 

Part One deals with Family Life and 
treats of conjugal relations and the Catholic 
ruling on delicate medico-moral problems. 
Part Two is concerned with War and Peace 
and gives His late Holiness's views on 
Communism and Nuclear Warfare, to- 
gether with a famous Letter to China. 
Part Three discusses the Church's approach 
to Science. Part Four, under the heading 
" Letters for Laymen", is addressed to 
industrial relations and other problems. 
The book ends with a summary of the 
Pope's thought and teaching under the 
heading, "The Road to Christ". 

It is worthy of record that in his will, 
Pope Pius XII declared tb\t he did not need 
to leave a spiritual testament . , . " because 
the not inconsiderable number of acts and 
speeches emanated or pronounced by me 
by reason of my office suffice to make 
known, to whoever should by chance 
desire to know, my thought on the different 
religious and moral questions." 



Pius XII, Pope 
Guide for living 


282 P69g 
Pius XII, Pope 
Guide for living 


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Nihil Obstat: Andreas Moore, L.G.L., 
Censor Deputatus 
Imprimatur; E, Morrogh Bernard, 

Vic. Gen. 
Westmonasterii, die 31 a Octobris, 1958 


His Holiness Pope Pius XII 


An Approved Selection of Letters and Addresses 
of His Holiness 


Arranged by 




Copyright Evans Brothers Limited, London 

Made and printed in Great Britain by 
William Clowes and Sons, Limited) London and Bscdes 




The Family 

Chapter page 





VI. FERTILITY ....... 60 





War and Peace 




V. COMMUNISM * - - * 113 






"TWNSAS crrA"^ ; rtfnuc 

5D 65OS&2.7 



The Church and Science 

Chapter page 




IV. SPACE 190 



Letters for Laymen 

II. THE WORKER * - -211 



The Road to Christ 

I. THE GREAT RETURN ..... 245 

III. THE "NEW MORALITY" - - . . 260 



His Holiness Pope Pius XII Frontispiece 

Between pages 168 and 169 

Pope Pius XII in his private study at the summer palace at 
Castel Gandolfo 

From the balcony of St. Peter's, His Holiness gives his Easter 
blessing to a vast gathering of the faithful 

His Holiness rises from the Sedia Gestatoria to bless a con- 
gregation in the Basilica of St. Peter 

The photographs are reproduced by permission of Camera Press, Fox 
Photos and Planet News 




His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of 
Jesus Christ, died on October 9, 1958, in the Papal 
summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, in the Alban 
Hills outside Rome, after guiding the Barque of Peter for 
nearly twenty years through the stormiest and most fateful 
period in the history of the world. The Pope of Peace who 
had passed through more than a decade of world wars had 
gone to his eternal rest. 

This book, though it can include only a selection of the 
vast amount of teaching that came from Rome from the first 
week of his Supreme Pontificate in March, 1939, right up to 
the last days of his life, is an attempt to indicate, through 
extracts from Papal letters, addresses and other communica- 
tions, how His Holiness, "the living Peter*', accomplished 
his mission as the supreme spiritual teacher of all peoples. 

Since His Holiness based his pronouncements upon eternal 
principles of Divine Law or the Natural Law, his interpreta- 
tion is timeless yet always applicable even to the latest ideas, 
events and problems. Very often, they appear indeed to be 
even more timely than when they were delivered, and the 
present selection has this principle strongly in view. 

The basis of selection has been directed towards a practical 
understanding of the problems that beset men, women and 
children, and a reaffirmation of the teaching Our Lord gave 
to Peter and the Apostles. In one of his memorable Easter 
messages, His Holiness restates the lesson that the Vicars of 



Christ have steadfastly taught for the welfare of man in this 
life and for his achievement of life in Heaven : 

"Let the faith be in you a living faith, glowing and alive, 
so that religion directs life, and life is turned into a continual 
act of religion." 

This is simply the basis and justification of this book; but 
in order to understand more fully the background of this 
variety of Christian teaching on so many subjects, it may be 
helpful to look once more upon the mind and personality of 
Pius XII and the sources which endowed him with the 
exclusive spiritual and moral authority of the Pope for the 
whole world. 

On March 2, 1876, six years after the Piedmontese had 
captured Rome and the Popes became the "Prisoners of the 
Vatican", a child was born in Rome, a boy who was to become 
a priest, an Archbishop, Papal Secretary of State and eventu- 
ally one of the greatest Popes since Our Lord called Simon 
to Him, changed his name to Peter, and proclaimed that 
"Upon this Rock I will build My Church!' A Pope who 
would not only be free but the acknowledged ruler of his 
own City and State; a Pope to whom the rulers and govern- 
ments of some forty or more nations would send their diplo- 
matic envoys; a Pope who, honoured wherever men are free, 
would exercise an influence more widespread than had any 
of his predecessors. 

This boy, the third child and second son of Filippo Pacelli 
and his wife Virginia Grazioso, was born in their home on 
the third floor of the Palazzo Pediconi, a building of high- 
ceilinged apartments in the Via degli Orsini, in that rather 
crowded residential area of Rome behind the Church of Santa 
Maria in Vallicella, generally known as the Chiesa Nuova, 
Two days after his birth he was taken to be baptised in the 
parish church of SS. Celso and Giuliano. They named him 
Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni. 

Sixty-three years later, Cardinal Caccia Domnioni 
announced from the balcony of St. Peter's that Cardinal 


Eugenia Pacelli had been elected to succeed Pope Pius XI 
it was actually his 6grd birthday. No Roman had been elected 
since Pope Benedict XIII in the first quarter of the i8th 
century (and no Secretary of State since Clement IX in the 
i yth century). 

His father apparently saw a possibility of his becoming a 
lawyer like himself. His mother, like nearly every Catholic 
mother, hoped she would have a priest-son. As a boy he not 
only served often at Mass but "played" at saying Mass at an 
altar in his home, as do many Catholic boys who love God 
and love the Mass. 

Tradition in the Pacelli family indicated that the child 
would almost certainly be drawn into the service of the Holy 
See. His father, for some years a city councillor of Rome, was 
one of the Consistorial advocates, lawyers of the Holy See, 
and under Pope Benedict XV he became their dean. His 
grandfather, Marcantonio Pacelli, was an advocate in the 
Sacred Roman Rota, the Holy See's court of appeal (mainly 
for matrimonial causes), and he helped to found the Vatican 
City newspaper Osservatore Romano, accompanied Pope 
Pius IX to Gaeta, and was Minister of the Interior in the 
Papal government when the Piedmontese broke through. 
During the pontificate of Pope Gregory XVI his great- 
grandfather was Minister of Finance in this government. 

The future Pope's elder brother, Francesco, having decided 
upon a legal career, also became a Consistorial advocate, and 
became Pope Pius XFs chief agent in the negotiations with 
Mussolini that resulted in the Lateran Treaty and Concordat 
which ended the Roman Question the continuing crisis in 
the Holy See's relations with Italy over the seizure of the 
Papal States and [in the words of Pius XI] "gave Italy back 
to God, and God back to Italy". 

Largely through the influence of the devotedly Catholic 
and spiritual atmosphere of that home on the third floor of 
the Palazzo Pediconi and the prayers of and religious instruc- 
tion he received from his mother and from Sisters of Divine 


Providence in a little school near his home, the boy Eugenio 
was destined for the priesthood. But there was no assured 
passage to his ordination. The trouble was his health; not so 
much illness as a want of enough strength to keep pace with 
an alert mind always at work, brilliant, probing, which so 
constantly brought him to the top at the Visconti School and 
then at the seminary, but at times left him physically weak. 

After the Visconti, he went to the Capranica College to 
begin his studies for the priesthood and, with the other 
students, to study also at the Gregoriana, the university 
founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. A year 
later, the physical strain of his intense study combined with 
a severe community life obliged him to return home. After 
a holiday at the family's summer home in the countryside at 
Onano, he attended the Gregoriana from his home. Soon he 
was taking a course in philosophy, Latin and Greek at the 
Sapienza, the State university, and later a course in theology 
at the Papal Athenaeum of St. Apollinaris, a short walk from 
his home. 

New priests are usually ordained in Rome in a large group. 
But the extended ceremony which these numbers involved 
was held to be too much for the health of the future Pope, He 
did not accompany his fellow-students to the ordination on 
April i, 1899, and thus missed being ordained in the Arch- 
basilica of St. John Lateran, which is the Pope's cathedral. 
Instead, he was ordained alone, privately, on the following 
day, by and in the chapel of the Vicegerent of Rome. 

At the age of 23, he became a priest, on Easter Sunday, the 
day on which, every year, in our days, he delivered his mes- 
sage and blessing "to the City and the World" from St. 
Peter's, At the ceremony in 1899 there were present only the 
members of his family and some friends. 

For his first Mass he chose the Borghese Chapel in the 
Basilica of St. Mary Major because above the altar hangs 
Rome's most celebrated picture of Our Lady, under the title 
of "Salvation of the Roman People" which, tradition has it, 


was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist. This was a sign right 
at the beginning of his priesthood of that intense and con- 
tinually growing devotion of Pope Pius XII to the Mother 
of God, a religious and spiritual characteristic which in fact 
has been outstanding in all the Popes of the past century 
and more. 

After his ordination it soon became apparent that Don 
Eugenio Pacelli was "born to the Papacy". Like every zealous 
new priest, he was anxious to begin his pastoral work to 
celebrate Mass among the people, to preach and to teach the 
Faith, to hear confessions and heal sick minds and consciences, 
and to administer the sacraments. But first there were his 
studies to complete at the Apollinaris: he had received his 
degree in Sacred Theology and was on his way to a doctorate 
in Canon and Civil Law at the Academy of Noble Ecclesi- 
astics, the college for future ecclesiastical diplomats. Then 
it was time to wait for his appointment. Meanwhile he could 
do pastoral work at the Chiesa Nuova and teach at the 

A little under two years after his ordination, the call came 
from the Vatican. Mgr. Pietro Gasparri, Secretary of the 
Sacred Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, 
which deals with foreign governments' relations with the 
Holy See, was looking for young assistants and was recom- 
mended by the Gregoriana to examine Fr. Pacelli. 

Here, as so often happens in the Vatican, two apparently 
opposite personalities met and established ideal collaboration 
the tall, slender, ascetic Don Eugenio, with the pale, all- 
serious countenance of a Roman noble, and the short, robust, 
thickset son of a peasant farmer who took the world as it 
came and had a keen eye for the genuine and the bogus. 

That one interview early in 1901 convinced Mgr. Gasparri 
who before long was to become Secretary of State that he 
had been offered a treasure. He invited Don Eugenio to 
become an "apprentice" in the Secretariate. The young priest 
was not too happy. He had hoped, he said, to do pastoral 


work. Mgr. Gasparri with the Supreme Pastor only a few 
rooms away had the answer at once that all priestly work 
for the Church is pastoral; and in any case, after the day's 
work, the young priest could spend all the time he wished 
doing other kinds of pastoral work in a parish. 

Later, he came to realise, with immense gratitude, that 
what actually happened on that day in 1901 was that he had 
entered "the school of Leo XIII, with his brilliant wisdom; 
of Pius X, so outstanding for his piety; of Benedict XV, so 
gifted with far-seeing wisdom; of Pius XI, so full of holy 
courage and enterprise". Cardinal Gasparri had in fact 
started him in his apprenticeship not merely in the Papal 
Secretariate but indeed for the Papacy itself. From now on, 
from an increasingly improving vantage point in the Vatican, 
in Rome, the centre of Christian faith, civilisation and 
culture, he was to watch and study the high drama of a vastly 
changing world. 

It meant that not only would he, in his own Supreme 
Pontificate, have the blessing of using all the great and special 
fruits of the pontificates of his immediate predecessors, but 
also indeed of having come to the Chair of Peter in their 
intimate personal company. Everything was and continued 
to be a sure and fruitful preparation for his Papal mission. 

There was, it is true, to be an interval of twelve years when 
he would be in Germany; but there, not only did he remain 
in the service of and in immediate contact with the Holy 
See, but also he was the centre, in war and in peace, of intense 
action by the Papacy. 

He had been born in the pontificate of Pope Pius IX, who 
had set in motion and accomplished much in ecclesiastical 
organisation to keep the Church abreast of a rapidly expand- 
ing world; who had seen the Papacy safely through long years 
of crisis, and had always given such an outstanding personal 
example of holiness that people living now may hope to see 
him beatified and perhaps canonised. 

He was a student and then a priest working inside the 


Vatican during the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, and knew 
intimately the life and work of that Pontiff who issued a long 
series of Encyclical Letters on the evils of modern society, 
the menace of Godless Socialism and Communism, on 
Christian marriage, on the Christian constitution of States, 
on human liberty, on the proper order of Christian life, on 
the duties of Christian citizens, on Christian democracy, and 
on the rights of workers. 

He was attached to the Vatican, very close to the Pope, 
throughout the pontificate of St. Pius X, who, with absolute 
and intrepid faith in the power of God and the power He 
bestowed upon His Vicar and His Church, deliberately set 
out, as his motto proclaimed, "to restore all things in Christ". 

He was in the midst of all those activities by which St. Pius 
revitalised the whole spiritual life of the Church. With Mgr. 
Gasparri he was in fact one of the chief collaborators of St. 
Pius in the codification of Canon Law, a task which men said 
was "impossible", since for one thing alone it meant bringing 
together the entire legislation of the Church from the earliest 
centuries and all the centuries, and then codifying them in 
one systematic body of law. 

Pius XII later said that with this code St. Pius "opened 
the sources and sluices of all sacramental life", and he called 
it the "great monument" of that pontificate. 

That Code alone could perhaps be seen as a sufficient 
achievement even for a long pontificate; but the future Pope 
was also to see the saint fighting and winning a fierce battle 
against Modernism that "compendium of all the heresies"; 
reforming Church music; reforming the whole central govern- 
ment of the Church; developing the Liturgy and giving it 
fresh and urgent meaning in the lives of all Catholics; 
developing the mission field; developing the Church every- 

Then he was to watch and intimately serve the Pope of 
Peace, Benedict XV, who was elected at the beginning of the 
First World War and died while the world was still trying to 


recover from the catastrophe which in good time the Papacy 
had shown the nations how to avoid. 

By now, Don Eugenio Pacelli (a Privy Chamberlain of His 
Holiness at the age of 28 and a Domestic Prelate at 29) had 
succeeded Mgr. Gasparri as Secretary of the Sacred Congre- 
gation of Extraordinary Affairs; and when but 42, Pope 
Benedict appointed him Papal Nuncio to Bavaria an office 
which in fact practically included the whole of Germany 
within its sphere made him Archbishop, and consecrated 
him in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican. 

Then to the Chair of Peter came 'Tides Intrepida", Pope 
Pius XI, a man of astonishing vitality and stamina, a giant in 
learning and a giant in action, a giant of a Pope, a Pope no 
one seemed able properly to describe, since at one moment 
he was so obviously the 'Tope of the Missions", increasing 
the Church everywhere from the Frozen North to furthest 
South, in Africa, and China and Japan, in Europe and the 
New World; but at the next moment so obviously the Pope 
of Peace, striving everywhere, not least in regard to Russia, 
to establish peace and prevent the nations from rushing into 
another world war; but again so obviously the Pope of the 
Liturgy and the Pope of the People, attending to everyone's 
spiritual needs and wants, making it easier for all to reach 
the sacraments and attend Mass; but again so obviously the 
Pope of Science, the Pope of Saints with all his canonisation 
ceremonies; the Pope of Bishops and Priests; the Pope of 
Catholic Action for the Laity; the Pope of the Lateran Treaty 
and Concordat. 

It was Pope Pius XI who brought Archbishop Pacelli back 
to the Vatican, made him Cardinal and then his Secretary of 
State, made him Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church and 
Archpriest of St. Peter's. He seemed unhappy when Cardinal 
Pacelli was away, but nevertheless, without inviting him to 
relinquish any of his other work, sent him on missions to 
many lands; and made no secret of his hope that when he him- 
self died, Cardinal Pacelli would be chosen to succeed him. 


It is a fact, however, that when the Cardinals went into the 
Sistine Chapel on the morning of March 2, 1939, to elect a 
successor to Pius XI, Cardinal Pacelli could not believe that 
he would be chosen. The only result he could foresee was that 
he would no longer be Secretary of State and he had indeed 
made preparations to take up residence outside the Vatican 
palace. He had also had luggage packed and papers prepared 
so that, the election over, he could at last go away to Switzer- 
land for a rest. 

The Cardinals judged otherwise. They needed only three 
ballots to decide upon him, finally coming, it is believed, to 
a unanimous decision. And thus on the afternoon of his 6grd 
birthday Cardinal Pacelli became Pope Pius XII, Bishop of 
Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the 
Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch 
of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan 
of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the City 
of the Vatican . . . the Divinely authorised supreme spiritual 
and moral teacher and guide of more than 400,000,000 
Catholics and indeed of all nations. 

Most of the addresses printed here were given to gatherings 
assembled in the Vatican or at the Papal summer residence at 
Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills, overlooking Lake Albano, 
about seventeen miles from Rome. People recognised him at 
once, for the Holy Father received all his visitors, royal or 
the most humble, wearing the same dress a wholly white 
soutane, with a shoulder cape, and a gold and jewelled 
pectoral cross suspended from a chain round his shoulders 
and looped in a buttonhole at the breast, and a white skull- 
cap. (For centuries the Papal dress was red, but in 1566 a 
Dominican, Pius V, was elected, and he decided to continue 
to wear his white Dominican habit; and all subsequent Popes 
have kept to white. Exactly the same style of soutane is worn 
by diocesan priests in England. Until 1850 these priests had 
worn a variety of dress, but in that year Pope Pius IX restored 
the Hierarchy and set up dioceses in England, and when a 


group of English priests went to the Vatican to thank him, 
they asked His Holiness what they should wear in future. 
The Pope looked at them, then at his soutane, and told them 
that he wished them to remember his act by wearing the 
same, though in black.) 

At his very first general audience, having given an address 
from the throne, Pope Pius XII astonished prelates in attend- 
ance by walking right down into the midst of the throng. 
At once he was surrounded by people so closely that even 
the Noble Guard could not get through to him. But the 
Pope expected it and delighted in it; he could not possibly 
doubt that he would be entirely safe with the faithful. On 
this and other occasions it did not disturb him at all that, as 
he extended his right arm so that those around could kiss 
the Papal ring, a mother or grandmother would grip his 
wrist and hold on until she had passed the hand and the ring 
on to all the members of her family. A score of voices would 
be calling out, telling His Holiness their names and where 
they came from, and calling for a blessing for themselves, 
their families and their friends. The Pope would stop to 
answer them and ask more questions. 

Later someone thought of bringing a white skullcap and 
asking His Holiness to exchange it for his own. The custom 
grew. Knowing how much the skullcap of the Vicar of Christ 
is prized by families and parishes, and knowing how the 
faithful wish to show evidence of their loyalty to the Holy See 
and of the Holy See's concern for them, he made it a habit to 
use a new skullcap about twenty times at one audience. As 
each one was handed up to him from the crowds, he placed 
it on his head, let it remain there a few moments and then 
returned it. The only change in later years was that people 
were drawn up in a more orderly manner so that more should 
have the chance to be within the Pope's reach. 

Any Papal utterance or pronouncement is much better 
understood when it is read with an appreciation of this inti- 
mate personal relationship between the Pope and the faithful. 


It is awesome for a man to enter the Vatican and, ascending 
the wide marble stairway, come up to splendidly uniformed 
attendants; to be led by them through a succession of halls 
guarded by the Swiss Guard in their medieval uniforms; then 
to be handed over to ecclesiastical and lay Privy Chamber- 
lains to continue the journey towards the Papal apartment; 
to wait and wonder at the surroundings; to see prelates 
coming and going to ensure that all those who are to see His 
Holiness are present and prepared in the various special 
audience rooms; and then to see a door open and a figure 
all in white passing through and approaching. 

Then, suddenly, there is a kind of revelation. Looking up, 
after kissing the Pope's hand, the man gazes into the eyes of 
the Vicar of Christ and recognises his own father. There is 
the Supreme Head of the Church, and the man hears a voice 
speaking to him as to a son. In a flash the Vatican has been 
transformed into the home of the Common Father, and the 
home, too, of the son now before him. 

Some men Heads of State and other distinguished persons 
arrive in the midst of band-playing and other external 
honours, but all are received with equal esteem and affection. 
This is another lesson from the life of Pius XII as of every 
other Pope that in God's design, people come first. 

That is why the Pope would suspend even a general 
audience to hear the confession of one person, and only after 
that individual soul was again at peace with God did he 
resume the audience. 

Many public audiences lasted two, three or even four hours, 
with the Holy Father on his feet all the time, moving about 
in the most tiring manner a step forward, another sideways, 
turning this way and that, leaning forwards, bending down; 
listening to all sorts of accents, clear voices, muffled voices, 
foreign voices, young voices, old voices, and fumbled remarks; 
granting requests, alert all the time, giving each one a clear 
and personal remembrance to take home and treasure. 

Catholics were appalled at the burden of the Pope's work; 


the sheer volume of it, the responsibility. But he knew and 
they knew, and they understood each other about this, that 
he could not escape it. A Pope has many assistants, permanent 
and temporary, but there can be no one Our Lord did not 
provide one who can take over that ultimate responsibility, 
which requires not only great decisions but also interminable 
examination and study of every important detail. 

But Pope Pius XII did not worry. "One is not in this 
world/' he once said, "for pleasure and quiet/' When during 
his illnesses, prelates said: "Holy Father, this work will kill 
you/' he replied: "Very well, then they will elect another 

He gave his own counsel to hard-pressed men in public 
affairs when he addressed some thousands of Italian mayors 
and provincial administrators in 1956. "No reasonable man 
expects you to do everything at once. No one hopes to see 
everyone satisfied, in view of the great difference in people's 
desires and the unwillingness of some to consider your work 
calmly and objectively. But every day, every hour, you ought 
to have a holy restlessness. You should never be content until 
your conscience tells you that you have done all you could in 
that particular field, on that particular day, at that particular 

That, to some people, will sound like the Holy Father 
describing his own method and outlook, except that it does 
not mention that he filled every minute of the day, sixteen or 
even eighteen hours a day, every day, seven days a week, 
every week, every month and every year. 

Pope Pius XII travelled more widely than any other Pope. 
He visited England three times. Several times he visited 
France. During his years in Germany he spent holidays in 
Switzerland, helping the local priest with parochial Masses, 
hearing confessions and parish visiting (where, it is supposed, 
he learned, from the large families there, some of the ways 
and tricks of small children which he, as Pope, often described 
for the benefit of newly married couples). He visited Spain 


and many South American countries. He spent a month 
touring the U.S.A. by plane and rail. He visited Austria and 
Hungary. And he received well over a million people in the 
Vatican and at Castel Gandolfo, and often recalled visits he 
had paid to various towns and cities. 

Pope Pius XII was a linguist: his predecessor described 
him as a man of "Pentecostal eloquence". Pilgrims heard him 
speak fluently in English, French, German, Spanish and 
Portuguese, as well as in Italian and Latin. Now and again 
the reader may notice an unusual word in the text of his 
addresses. The Pope used it deliberately. In his study 
numerous dictionaries were always at hand and in frequent 
use. He himself composed the whole text of many of his 
utterances, typing them on his white portable machine. If he 
composed one in a language other than in Italian, he would 
send it down to someone in the Papal Secretariate who spoke 
the language as his mother tongue. Amendments returned 
with his typescript would be accepted if the Pope, consulting 
a dictionary, found that a substituted word was better than 
his own. Now and again, though, he would call the amender 
and question the value of the substitution. It is easy, for 
example, to talk about "success and failure", but "failure" 
sometimes says too much, and so the Pope would use the 
unfamiliar "unsuccess", indicating that success was still 

Addressing an American audience, His Holiness would use 
an American idiom or word, a different one from that which 
he would use for people from Britain. This might indicate 
that His Holiness sometimes used texts supplied, at his direc- 
tion and suggestion, by another hand; but if so, the final text 
was always his own. Corrections and amendments by him, in 
his exceptionally neat handwriting, were always frequent. 

The typewriter was put aside, however, when the Holy 
Father was composing a prayer, which he often did. He would 
never write to Our Lord or Our Lady except in his own 


A letter from a father or mother or a child to the Holy 
Father perhaps for his birthday or perhaps asking him to 
pray for something or other the family needed would, if it 
were handwritten, have a better chance of being placed on 
the Pope's writing-table, on top of official papers, to give His 
Holiness what his attendants knew would be a good start to 
the day. 

Many who went to Rome to see His Holiness had already 
seen him in their own countries. Hardly anyone knew Pope 
Pius XI when, as Don Achille Ratti, Prefect of the Ambrosian 
Library in Milan, he came to England. He had come princi- 
pally to visit Oxford on Librarian affairs, but he also stayed 
in London for a short time, as the guest of the Cenacle nuns 
(their convent was a home-from-home for him because he was 
chaplain to the Cenacle nuns in Milan), and visited the 
British Museum. Among his outstanding memories of Lon- 
don, as he used to recall, were the double-decker buses, the 
open deck of which provided such a fine moving grandstand 
to watch the passing London scene, and the helpful police- 
man. On the other hand, Pope Pius XII, when he came to 
London he was then Mgr. Eugenio Pacelli was in the 
centre of events and crowds: he had come as a member of 
the Papal Mission, led by Cardinal Gennaro Granito Pigna- 
telli di Belmonte, for the Coronation of King George V. 

Numerous non-Catholics found themselves thoroughly at 
home with the Holy Father. The late Sir Charles D'Arcy 
Osborne, British Minister to the Holy See, who spent some 
of the war years, with other Allied diplomats, as the Pope's 
guest in Vatican City, did not return to England when his 
mission ended, but stayed on in Rome, retaining his ecclesi- 
astical and other friendships. 

Field Marshal Lord Montgomery has written of his own 
friendship and frequent visits to His Holiness. 

General Mark Clark, commander of the American forces in 
Italy, though he is an Episcopalian, found the Vatican so 
much like home and the Holy Father so much like a true 


father that, on returning to Rome from his missions, he 
would call without notice, to ask after His Holiness. Hearing 
that he was well, he would insist on assuring himself person- 
ally, and set off for the Papal apartment. No one, least of all 
the Holy Father, had the heart or the wish to remark that His 
Holiness, as well as being in good health, was also very busy. 
According to General Clark, the Holy Father was never too 
busy to see one of his children; and no one in the Vatican 
found an answer to that. Years later, President Truman 
sought to send General Clark as his personal envoy to the 
Holy See. The Holy See was ready; the General was ready; 
but certain non-Catholic groups in the U.S.A. who had never 
met His Holiness were not ready; and their objections were 

Millions of humble folk were aware that the Holy Father 
was interested in everything that they did not least in their 
sports and pastimes. Pope Pius XII, though he obviously had 
astonishing physical stamina and resilience, was never likely, 
as a boy or young man, to win a race or a prize at any game 
or sport. He rode a bicycle, he swam and he was always noted 
for his long, firm and rather quick stride, and on his holidays 
in Switzerland he went for long mountain-country walks. But 
he had never anything like the physique that enabled Pope 
Pius XI to climb Alpine peaks and, on one occasion, spend a 
frozen night thousands of feet up on a narrow ledge, unable 
to move till the coming of the dawn, climb down, and then 
climb back over that mountain by another route. 

On the other hand, no one had a greater interest in sport 
and athletics than Pope Pius XII. One of his favourite sports 
was cycle racing, particularly races like the Tour de France. 
His Holiness followed the most important of these races along 
their stages and welcomed reports from any of the competi- 
tors. The Italian champion Bartali has had honourable men- 
tion in Papal addresses for his dedication and devotion to 
Catholic Action and to cycle racing. He and other riders have 
always known that a welcome awaited them at the home of 


the Holy Father before and after a race, and Bartali used to 
send His Holiness telegrams at various stages along the route 
to report progress and ask for a prayer. 

One unknown racing cyclist appeared at the Vatican 
shortly before a big race and asked to see the Holy Father for 
a blessing and a prayer. He was told that he had come to the 
wrong place, that the Pope had left for his summer residence 
at Castel Gandolfo, and now it was too late; audiences for 
that day had ended. The rider went on insisting until a 
prelate telephoned to Castel Gandolfo to convince him that 
there could be no more visitors. The message he brought back 
was: "Get on your bicycle and ride as hard as you can. The 
Holy Father is waiting for you/' 

But though Pius XII was the most "public" of Popes, he 
was also the most private. The last visitors of the day having 
left the Vatican, His Holiness, after a brief rest in the after- 
noon he had been awake since about 6 a.m. would shut the 
world away. In favourable weather he gathered papers and 
books and went alone into the Vatican gardens, to read, walk 
and to work in a summerhouse or in the open. The Noble 
Guard were on duty, but out of sight. 

After an hour or two, he would return to his private apart- 
ment to study and work, rarely, it seems, seeing anybody 
until, towards nightfall, when the prelates of the Papal house- 
hold would accompany him to his chapel to say their night 
prayers. The Pope then returned to his solitude, Hours later, 
often beyond midnight, people in St. Peter's Square saw the 
light still burning in his room. 

It is a few of the fruits o those long, lonely hours of prayer 
and meditation that we see in the following pages. 

I wish to express my thanks to the Pontifical Court Club, publishers 
of Catholic Documents, to the Catholic Truth Society and its trans- 
lators, and to the publishers and translators of. The Pope Speaks, o 
Washington, D.C., and the N.C.W.C. News Service, Washington, for 
permission to make use of translations they have issued. 

Part One 

The Family 



Address to members of the Congress of the Italian Association of 
Catholic Mid wives, October 59, 1951 : 

When husbands and wives value and appreciate the honour 
of producing a new life and await its coming with a holy im- 
patience, your part is a very easy one. It will be sufficient to 
cultivate this interior sentiment in them; the readiness to 
welcome and cherish that growing life follows automatically. 
Unfortunately, however, it is not always the case. Often the 
child is not wanted. Worse still, its coming is often dreaded. 
In such conditions, how can there be a ready response to the 
call of duty? 

In this case your apostolate must be both powerful and 
effective, primarily in a negative way, by refusing any 
immoral co-operation; then also in a positive way, by deftly 
applying yourselves to the removal of preconceived ideas, 
various fears, or faint-hearted excuses; and as far as possible 
to remove also the outward obstacles which may cause distress 
where the acceptance of motherhood is concerned. 

You may come forward unhesitatingly where you are asked 
to advise and help in the bringing forth of new life, to protect 
it and set it on its way towards its full development. But, 
unfortunately, in how many cases are you, instead, called 
upon to prevent the procreation and preservation of this life, 
regardless of the precepts of the moral order? To accede to 
such requests would be to abuse your knowledge and your 
skill by becoming accessories to an immoral act. It would be 
the perversion of your apostolate. It demands a calm but 



unequivocal refusal to countenance the transgression of God's 
law or the dictates of your conscience. It follows, therefore, 
that you should have a clear knowledge of this Divine Law, 
so that it may be respected and followed without excess or 

Our predecessor, Pius XI, of happy memory, in his 
Encyclical, Casti Connubii, of December 31, 1930, solemnly 
proclaimed anew the fundamental law governing the marital 
act and conjugal relations. He said that any attempt on the 
part of the husband and wife to deprive this act of its in- 
herent force or to impede the procreation of a new life, either 
in the performance of the act itself or in the course of the 
development of its natural consequences, is immoral, and 
furthermore no alleged "indication" or need can convert an 
intrinsically immoral act into a moral and lawful one. 

This precept is as valid today as it was yesterday, and it 
will be the same tomorrow and always, because it does not 
imply a precept of human law but is the expression of a law 
which is Natural and Divine, Let these words be your un- 
failing guide in all cases where your profession and your 
apostolate demand of you a clear and unequivocal decision. 

It would be more than a mere want of readiness in the 
service of life if the attempt made by man were to concern 
not only an individual act but should affect the entire organ- 
ism itself, with the intention of depriving it, by means of 
sterilisation, of the faculty of procreating a new life. Here, 
too, you have a clearly established ruling in the Church's 
teaching which governs your behaviour both internally and 
externally. Direct sterilisation that is the sterilisation which 
seeks either as a means or as an end in itself to render child- 
bearing impossible is a grave violation of the moral law and 
therefore unlawful. Even public authority has no right, what- 
ever "indication" it may use as an excuse, to permit it, and 
much less to prescribe it or to use it to the detriment of 
innocent human beings. . . . 

The further serious problem presents itself today whether, 


and how far, the obligation of readiness to fulfil the duty o 
motherhood can be reconciled with the ever increasing re- 
course to the periods of natural sterility the so-called 
agenesical periods in the woman a practice which seems to 
be the clear expression of a will opposed to that readiness. . . . 

It is your office, and not that of the priest, to instruct 
married people by private consultation or through serious 
publications on the medical and biological aspect of the 
theory, without at the same time allowing yourselves to be 
drawn into discussions which are neither right nor becoming. 
But in this field, too, your apostolate demands of you as 
women and as Christians that you know and defend the moral 
law to which this theory is subordinated. And here the 
Church is competent to speak. 

In the first place, there are two hypotheses to be considered. 
If the application of this theory means nothing more than 
that married people use their matrimonial rights even during 
the time of natural sterility, there is nothing to be said against 
it. By so doing they do not in any way prevent or prejudice 
the consummation of the natural act and its further natural 
consequences. It is precisely in this that the application of the 
theory we are discussing is essentially distinct from the abuse 
of it already mentioned, which consists of a perversion of the 
act itself. 

If, however, a further step is taken, that is, of restricting 
the marital act exclusively to that particular period, then 
the conduct of the married couple must be examined more 
attentively. Here, again, two alternatives must be considered. 
If, even at the time of the marriage, it was the intention of 
the man or woman to restrict the marital right itself to the 
periods of sterility, and not merely the use of that right, in 
such a way that the other partner would not even have the 
right to demand the act at any other time, that would imply 
an essential defect in the matrimonial consent. This would 
invalidate the marriage itself, because the right deriving from 
the marriage contract is a permanent right, uninterrupted 


and continuous, of each of the partners in respect of the 

If, on the other hand, the limitation of the act to the times 
of natural sterility refers not to the right itself but only to the 
use of the right, there is then no question of the validity of the 
marriage. Nevertheless, the moral lawfulness of such conduct 
would be affirmed or denied according to whether or not the 
intention to keep constantly to these periods is based on 
sufficient and reliable moral grounds. 

The sole fact that the couple do not offend against the 
nature of the act, and that they are willing to accept and 
bring up the child that is born notwithstanding the pre- 
cautions they have taken, would not of itself alone be a suffi- 
cient guarantee of a right intention and of the unquestion- 
able morality of the motives themselves. The reason is that 
marriage binds to a state of life which, while conferring cer- 
tain rights, at the same time imposes the accomplishment of 
a positive work which belongs to the very state of wedlock. 

This being so, the general principle can now be stated that 
the fulfilment of a positive duty may be withheld should 
grave reasons, independent of the goodwill of those obliged 
to it, show that such fulfilment is untimely, or make it 
evident that it cannot equitably be demanded by that which 
requires the fulfilment in this case, the human race. 

The marriage contract, which gives the husband and wife 
the right to satisfy the inclinations of nature, establishes them 
in a state of life, the married state. Nature and the Creator 
impose upon the married couple who use that state by carry- 
ing out its specific act the duty of providing for the conser- 
vation of the human race. Herein we have the characteristic 
service which gives their state its peculiar value the good of 
the offspring. Both the individual and society, the people and 
the State, and the Church herself depend for their existence 
upon the order which God has established upon fruitful 
marriage. Hence, to embrace the married state, to make fre- 
quent use of the faculty proper to it and lawful only In that 


state, while, on the other hand, always and deliberately seek- 
ing to evade its primary duty without serious reasons, would 
be to sin against the very meaning of married life. 

Serious reasons, often put forward on medical, eugenic, 
economic and social grounds, can exempt from that obliga- 
tory service even for a considerable period of time, even for 
the entire duration of the marriage. 

It follows from this that the use of the infertile periods can 
be lawful from the moral point of view and, in the circum- 
stances which have been mentioned, it is indeed lawful. If, 
however, in the light of a reasonable and fair judgment, 
there are no such serious personal reasons, or reasons deriving 
from external circumstances, then the habitual intention to 
avoid the fruitfulness of the union, while at the same time 
continuing fully to satisfy sensual intent, can only arise from 
a false appreciation of life and from motives that run counter 
to true standards of moral conduct. 

Here you will perhaps urge a point and say that sometimes, 
whilst engaged in your profession, you find yourselves face to 
face with very delicate cases, namely those in which to run 
the risk of motherhood cannot be demanded, nay, where 
motherhood must be absolutely avoided, and where, on the 
other hand, the use of sterile periods either does not afford a 
sufficient safeguard or where, for other reasons, it must be 
discarded. And so you ask, how is it possible still to speak of 
an apostolate in the service of motherhood? 

If in your sure and experienced judgment the circum- 
stances definitely demand a "No", that is to say, that mother- 
hood is unthinkable, it would be a mistake and wrong to 
prescribe a "Yes". Here it is a question of concrete facts and 
therefore a medical, not a theological, question, and so it is 
within your competence. 

However, in such cases the married couple do not ask you 
for a medical answer, an answer that must necessarily be 
negative; they seek your approval of a "technique" of marital 
relationship that is proof against the risk of motherhood. So 


here again you are called upon to exercise your apostolate, 
inasmuch as you leave no doubt that, even in extreme cases, 
every preventive practice and every direct attack upon the 
life and development of the seed is forbidden and banned in 
conscience, and that there is only one thing to do, and that 
is to abstain from any complete use of the natural faculty. In 
this matter your apostolate demands clear and certain judg- 
ment and a calm firmness. 

It will be objected, however, that such abstinence is impos- 
sible, that heroism such as this is not feasible. At the present 
time you can hear and read of this objection everywhere, 
even from those who, because of their duty and authority, 
should be of quite a different mind. The following argument 
is brought forward as proof: no one is obliged to do the im- 
possible and no reasonable legislator is presumed to wish by 
his law to bind persons to do the impossible. But for married 
people to abstain for a long time is impossible. Therefore 
they are not bound to abstain: Divine Law cannot mean that. 

In such a manner of argument a false conclusion is arrived 
at from premises that are only partially true. To be con- 
vinced of this, one has simply to reverse the terms of the 
argument: God does not oblige us to do the impossible. But 
God obliges married people to abstain if their union cannot 
be accomplished according to the rules of nature. Therefore, 
in such cases, abstinence is possible. 

In confirmation of this argument we have the doctrine of 
the Council of Trent which, in the chapter on the necessary 
and possible observance of the Commandments, referring to a 
passage in the works of Augustine, teaches: "God does not 
command what is impossible, but when He commands, He 
commands, He warns you to do what you can and to ask 
His aid for what is beyond your powers, and He gives His 
help to make that possible for you." 

Do not be disturbed when, in the practice of your profes- 
sion and in your apostolate, you hear this clamour about im- 
possibility. Do not let it cloud your internal judgment nor 


affect your external conduct. Never lend yourselves to any- 
thing whatsoever that is opposed to the law of God and your 
Christian conscience. 

To judge men and women of today incapable of continuous 
heroism is to do them wrong. In these days, for many reasons 
perhaps through dire necessity or even at times under pres- 
sure of injustice heroism is being practised to a degree and 
an extent that in times past would have been thought 
impossible. Why, then, if circumstances demand it, should 
this heroism stop at the limits prescribed by passion and the 
inclinations of nature? 

It is obvious that he who does not want to master himself 
will not be able to do so; and he who thinks he can master 
himself, relying solely upon his own powers and not sincerely 
and perseveringly seeking Divine aid, will be miserably 

Here, then, you see how your apostolate can win married 
people over to a service of motherhood that is, not one of 
utter servitude to the promptings of nature, but to the exer- 
cise of marital rights and duties governed by the principles 
of reason and faith. . . . 

The truth is that marriage, as a natural institution, is not 
ordered by the Creator's will towards personal perfection of 
the husband and wife as its primary end, but to the procrea- 
tion and education of a new life. The other ends of marriage, 
although part of nature's plan, are not of the same importance 
as the first. Still less are they superior. On the contrary, they 
are essentially subordinate to it. This principle holds good 
for all marriages, even if they are unfruitful: just as it can 
be said that all eyes are intended and constructed to see, even 
though in abnormal cases, because of particular internal or 
external conditions, they can never be capable of giving 
sight. . . . 

It is for you to tell the fiancee or the young wife who comes 
to discuss with you the values of married life that these per- 
sonal values relating to the body, sense or spirit are really 


good and true, but that the Creator has put them in the 
second place in the scale of values, and not in the first. 

There is a further consideration which can easily be for- 
gotten. All these secondary values, in regard to generation 
and its processes, are part of the specific duty of husband and 
wife, namely, to be the parents and educators of the new 
living being. A high and noble duty! It does not, however, 
belong to the essence of a complete human being, as though 
a human being who did not use the generative faculty would 
suffer some loss of dignity. To renounce the use of that power 
does not mean any mutilation of personal and spiritual 
values, especially if a person refrains from the highest 
motives. Of such a free renunciation made for the sake of the 
Kingdom of God, the Creator has said: "Non omnes capiunt 
verbum istud, sed quibus datum est" All men take not this 
word, but they to whom it is given. 

It is therefore a mistake and a departure from the way of 
moral truth to exalt too highly the generative function even 
in its moral setting of married life. This often happens today. 
Again, it brings the risk of an error of understanding and of 
misguided affection which hinders and stifles good and noble 
feelings, especially with young people who have as yet had no 
experience and are unaware of life's snares. After all, what 
normal person, healthy in mind and body, would want to 
belong to the number of those lacking character and spirit?. . . 

The Creator in His goodness and wisdom has willed to 
make use of the man and woman to preserve and propagate 
the human race by joining them in wedlock. The same 
Creator has arranged that the husband and wife shall find 
pleasure and happiness of mind and body in the performance 
of that function. Consequently, the husband and wife do no 
wrong in seeking out and enjoying this pleasure. They are 
accepting what the Creator intended for them. 

Still, here too the husband and wife ought to know how to 
keep within the bounds of moderation. As in eating and 
drinking, they ought not to give themselves over completely 


to the promptings of their senses, so neither ought they to 
subject themselves unrestrainedly to their sensual appetite. 

Therefore, this is the rule to be followed: the use of the 
natural generative instinct and function is lawful in the 
married state only, and in the service of the purposes for 
which marriage exists. It follows from this that only in the 
married state and in the observance of these laws are the 
desires and enjoyment of that pleasure and satisfaction 
allowed, because pleasure is subject to the law of action from 
which it springs, not vice-versa action made subject to the 
law of enjoyment of pleasure. And this law, so reasonable, 
looks not only to the substance but also to the circumstances 
of the action; so that, while the substance of the function is 
still preserved, sin can be committed by the way it is carried 

The transgression of this law is as old as Original Sin. 
However, at the present time there is a danger of losing sight 
of this fundamental principle. Today in fact it is customary 
in speaking and writing even among some Catholics to 
uphold the necessity of personal freedom, the peculiar pur- 
pose and value of sexual relationship and its use, indepen- 
dently of the purpose of the procreation of offspring. They 
would like to submit the order established by God to fresh 
examination and to a new regulation. They would like no 
other check in the manner of satisfying this instinct than the 
observance of what is essential to the instinctive act. For the 
moral obligation to master our passions they would substitute 
freedom to make use of the whims and inclinations of nature 
blindly and without restraint. 

This must sooner or later result in harm to morality, to 
conscience and to human dignity. 

If the exclusive aim of nature, or at least its primary aim, 
had been the mutual giving and possessing of husband and 
wife in joy and delight; if nature had arranged that act only 
to make their personal experience happy in the highest 
possible degree and not as an incentive in the service of life, 


then the Creator would have made use of another plan in the 
formation and constitution of the natural act. Instead, the act 
is completely subordinate and ordered to the great and 
unique law: the generating and educating of children; that 
is, to the fulfilment of the primary end of marriage as the 
origin and source of life. 

Unfortunately, waves of hedonism never cease to roll over 
the world. They are threatening to overwhelm the whole of 
married life in a rising sea of ideas, desires and acts, not with- 
out grave danger and to the serious prejudice of the primary 
duty of husband and wife. . . . 

The seriousness and holiness of the Christian moral law do 
not allow the unrestrained satisfying of the sexual instinct, 
nor such seeking merely for pleasure and enjoyment. It does 
not allow rational man to let himself be so dominated either 
by the substance or the circumstances of the act. 

Some would like to maintain that happiness in married life 
is in direct ratio to the mutual enjoyment of marital rela- 
tions. This is not so. On the contrary, happiness in married 
life is in direct ratio to the respect the husband and wife have 
for each other, even in the intimate act of marriage. Not that 
they should regard what nature offers them and God has 
given them as immoral and refuse it, but because the respect 
and mutual esteem that arise from it are one of the strongest 
elements of a love which is all the more pure because it is 
the more tender. 

In the performance of your profession, do your utmost to 
repel the attack of this refined hedonism, which spiritually 
is an empty thing and therefore unworthy of Christian 
married couples. Make it clear that nature has undoubtedly 
given the instinctive desire for pleasure and sanctioned it in 
lawful wedlock, not as an end in itself but in the service of 
life. Banish from your hearts this cult of pleasure, and do your 
best to stop the spreading of literature which considers it a 
duty to describe the intimacies of married life under the 
pretext of giving instruction, guidance and reassurance. In 


general, common sense, natural Instinct and a short instruc- 
tion on the clear and simple maxims of the Christian moral 
law will suffice to give peace to husband and wife of tender 
conscience. If in certain special circumstances a fiancee or 
young married woman has need for further enlightenment on 
some particular point, it is your duty prudently and tactfully 
to give them an explanation which is in agreement with the 
natural law and a healthy Christian conscience. 

Our teaching has nothing to do with Manicheism or with 
Jansenism, as some would like to make out in self-justifica- 
tion. It is simply a defence of the honour of Christian 
marriage and the personal dignity of husband and wife. . . . 

Address to the Family Front, November 26, 1951 : 

Since . . . the primary function of matrimony is to be at the 
service of life, the expression of our chief satisfaction and our 
fatherly gratitude goes to those generous mothers and fathers 
who for love of God and with trust in Him courageously 
raise a large family. 

On the other hand, the Church knows how to consider with 
sympathy and understanding the real difficulties of the 
married state in our day. Therefore, in our last allocution on 
conjugal morality, we affirmed the lawfulness, and at the 
same time the limits (in truth very wide) of a regulation of 
offspring, which, unlike so-called "birth control", is com- 
patible with the law of God. One may even hope, though in 
this matter the Church naturally leaves the judgment to 
medical science, that science will succeed in providing this 
lawful method with a sufficiently secure basis. The most 
recent information seems to confirm such a hope. 



From the earliest years of the Papacy, and uninterruptedly 
through the centuries, it has been the custom of the Church 
throughout the world to seek the solution of religious and 
moral doubts by proposing questions to the Vicar of Christ for 
his supreme and final judgment. Very largely this has been 
done by and through the Bishops; but it has always been open 
to others individuals and groups to send their petitions 
and "doubts" direct to His Holiness. This direct approach 
has been particularly evident in recent years in the case of 
doctors and surgeons and others engaged in the care of the 
sick, who, because of advances in both knowledge and tech- 
niques, have come face to face with urgent moral problems. 

Address to the first International Congress of the Histopathology of 
the Nervous System, September 14, 1952 : 

Scientific knowledge has its own value in the domain of 
medical science, no less than in the domains of the other 
sciences, such as, for example, physics, chemistry, cosmology, 
psychology a value which should by no means be minimised 
and is imposed quite independently of the usefulness and of 
the use made of the acquired knowledge. Moreover, know- 
ledge as such, and the fulness of knowledge of all truth are 
the occasion of no moral objection. 

By virtue of the same principle, research and the acquisi- 
tion of truth with a view to arriving at new knowledge and a 
new, more vast, more profound comprehension of this same 
truth, are in themselves in harmony with the moral order, 

3 8 


However, this does not mean that every method, even a 
method well established by scientific research and technique, 
offers a moral guarantee, or, further, that every method be- 
comes lawful by the fact that it increases and deepens our 
knowledge. It sometimes happens that one method cannot be 
put into operation without infringing the rights of another 
or violating some absolute moral value. In this case advance- 
ment of knowledge is the goal seen and aimed at all well 
and good; but this method is not morally admissible. 

Why is this? Because science "is not the highest value to 
which all the other orders of values or in a single scale of 
values, all the particular values should be subjected. Science 
itself, then, along with its researches and attainments, must 
be inserted in the order of values. Here, well defined frontiers 
present themselves which even medical science cannot trans- 
gress without violating higher moral rules. 

The relationship of confidence between doctor and patient, 
the right of the patient to life, physical and spiritual, in its 
psychic or moral integrity here, amongst others, are values 
which rule scientific interests. . . . 

First, one must suppose that the doctor, as a private person, 
cannot take any measure or try any intervention without the 
consent of the patient. The doctor has only that power over 
the patient which the patient gives him, explicitly or im- 
plicitly and tacitly. The patient, for his part, cannot confer 
rights which he does not possess. The decisive point in this 
problem is the moral legitimacy of the right which the patient 
has at his own disposal. This is where is marked out the moral 
frontier for the doctor who acts with the consent of the patient. 

The patient is not the absolute master of himself, of his 
body or of his soul. Therefore he cannot freely dispose of 
himself as he pleases. Even the motive from which he acts is 
not the only one for him as a sufficient determining factor in 
the case. The patient is bound by the immanent purposes 
fixed by nature. He possesses the right to use limited by 
natural finality the faculties and powers of his human 


nature. Because he is the beneficiary and not the proprietor, 
he does not possess unlimited power to allow acts of destruc- 
tion, mutilation, of anatomic or functional character. 

But by virtue of the principle of totality, of his right to 
employ the services of the organism as a whole, he can give 
individual parts to destruction or mutilation when, and to 
the extent that it is necessary for the good of his being as a 
whole, to assure its existence or to avoid and, naturally, to 
repair grave and lasting damage which could otherwise be 
neither avoided nor repaired. 

The patient has not the right to involve his physical and 
psychic integrity in medical experiments or researches when 
these interventions entail, either immediately or subse- 
quently, acts of destruction or of mutilation and wounds or 
grave dangers. . . . Man cannot perform upon himself or allow 
medical operation, either physical or somatic, which beyond 
doubt do remove serious defects or weaknesses, physical or 
psychic, yet at the same time entail permanent destruction 
or a considerable and lasting lessening of freedom, that is 
to say, of the human personality in its particular and 
characteristic function. Thus is man degraded to the level of 
being purely sensitive to acquired reflexes or an automaton. 

Take the following example. In order to rid himself of re- 
pressions, inhibitions or of psychic complexes, man is not 
free to awaken in himself, for therapeutic ends, each and 
every sexual appetite which moves or is moved in his being 
and sends its impure waves through his unconscious or sub- 
conscious self. He cannot make them the object of his conduct 
or of his fully conscious desires, with all the upheavals and 
repercussions involved in such a proceeding. For man and 
for the Christian there exists a law of integrity and personal 
purity, of personal esteem for himself, which forbids him to 
plunge himself thus wholly into the world of sexual repre- 
sentations and tendencies. 

Here the "medical and psycho-therapeutical interests of 
the patient" find a moral limit. It is not proved, nay, it is 


even untrue, that the pansexual method of a certain school 
of psycho-analysis is an integral indispensable part of all 
serious psychotherapy worthy of the name; that the fact of 
having neglected this method in the past has caused serious 
psychic harm, errors in doctrine and in its application in the 
sphere of education, psychotherapy and, not least, in pastoral 
medicine; that there is a pressing need of making good this 
deficiency and of initiating all those occupied in psychic 
questions in its guiding principles and even, if necessary, in 
the practical management of this technique of sexuality 

Where does the moral frontier exist for the doctor in re- 
search and the use of new methods and processes in the 
"interests of the patient' 7. . . The boundaries are the same 
for the doctor as for the patient because, as we have already 
said, the doctor, as does the private individual, disposes of 
rights, and only those rights, which are granted by the patient, 
and because the patient cannot give more than he possesses 
himself. What we have said is true also of the legal repre- 
sentatives of anyone incapable of disposing of himself and his 
affairs for example, children who have not reached the age 
of reason, the feeble minded, the insane. . . . 

Is the "medical welfare of the community", in its content 
and amplitude, limited by any moral boundaries? Are there 
"full powers" for every serious medical experiment on living 
human beings? Does the "medical welfare of the community" 
remove the barriers which still remain for the interests of 
science or of the individual? Or to put it in another way: 
can the public authority, whose function it is to care for the 
common good, give a doctor the authority to make experi- 
ments on the individual in the interests of science and the 
community so as to devise and try out new methods and 
procedures when these experiments go beyond the limited 
right of the individual to dispose of himself? Can the public 
authority really, in the interests of the community, limit or 
annul the right of the individual over his body and his life, 
his bodily and psychological integrity? 


To forestall an objection: it is always supposed that the 
point in discussion is serious research, honourable efforts 
to advance theoretical and practical medicine, not some 
manoeuvre that serves as a scientific pretext to screen other 
purposes and enable them to be realised with impunity. 

As regards the questions raised, many have thought, and 
still think today, that they should be answered in the affirma- 
tive. In support of their view they appeal to the fact that the 
individual is subordinate to the community, that the good of 
the individual must give way to the common good and be 
sacrificed for it. They add that the sacrifice of an individual 
for purposes of research and scientific investigation is in the 
long run to the advantage of the individual. 

The great post-war trials have brought to light a frightful 
number of documents testifying to the sacrifice of the indi- 
vidual to the "medical welfare of the community". These 
proceedings contain evidence and reports which show how, 
with the consent and even at times by the formal command 
of the public authority, certain research centres demanded a 
regular supply of human beings from concentration camps 
for their medical experiments. We learn how they were 
allotted to these centres so many men, so many women, so 
many for this experiment, so many for that. There are re- 
ports on the progress and results of these experiments, on the 
objective and subjective symptoms observed by the experi- 
menters in the course of different stages of the experiments. 

It is impossible to read these notes without being filled 
with compassion for the victims, many of whom met their 
death in the process, and without recoiling in horror before 
such a perversion of the human mind and heart. But we can 
also add: those responsible for these atrocious deeds have 
done nothing if not to supply an affirmative answer to the 
questions we have raised and to show the practical conse- 
quences of such an action. 

Is the good of the individual, in these cases, subordinate to 
the common good, or do we find here a transgression, albeit 


in good faith, of the most elementary demands of the natural 
law, a transgression that cannot be permitted for the sake of 
any medical research? 

It would be necessary to shut one's eyes to reality to believe 
that at the present time there are no longer any persons in 
the world of medicine who hold and defend ideas which are 
the origin of the deeds we have cited. To be convinced of the 
contrary, It is enough to follow for a time the reports on 
medical tests and experiments. 

One involuntarily asks oneself: who authorised this or 
that doctor to venture upon this or that experiment, and 
whence could he have any such authority? With a matter-of- 
fact coolness the experiment is described in its progress and 
effects; notes are made of what Is verified and what is not 
verified. On the question of its moral lawfulness, not one 

Yet this question is a real one, and it cannot be abolished 
by being passed over In silence. 

In so far as, in the cases mentioned, the moral justification 
for the experiments is drawn from the command from the 
public authority, and therefore from the subordination of 
the individual to the community, of the individual good to 
the social good, it rests upon an erroneous interpretation of 
the principle. It must be pointed out that man as a person, 
In the final reckoning, does not exist for the benefit of society; 
on the contrary, the community exists for the individual 

Doubtless, before authorising new methods according to 
moral law, the total exclusion of all danger and every risk 
cannot be demanded. This is beyond the possibilities of 
human nature and would paralyse all scientific research, and 
would very often turn to the detriment of the patient. The 
appreciation of the element of danger must be left in these 
cases to the judgment of an experienced and competent 
doctor. There is, however, as our explanations have shown, 
a degree of danger which the moral law cannot permit. 


It may happen in doubtful cases, when the known methods 
have failed, that a new and insufficiently tried method offers, 
along with elements of great danger, appreciable chances of 
success. If the patient gives his consent, the application of the 
process in question is lawful. But this method of action 
cannot be established as a line of treatment for normal cases. 

It will perhaps be objected that the ideas developed here 
will constitute a grave obstacle to research and scientific 
work. Nonetheless, the line we have drawn is not definitely 
an obstacle to progress. The same holds good in the field of 
medicine as in the other fields of research, experiment and 
human activity. The mighty laws of morality force the swiftly 
rolling wave of human thought and will to flow like a moun- 
tain stream in a well defined course. They contain it for its 
own greater and effective usefulness. They dam its flood and 
save it from overflowing and from working havoc, which 
could never find compensation in the specious good which it 
might pursue. 

In appearance, moral demands are a curb. In reality, they 
make their own contribution to the better and nobler achieve- 
ments produced by man for the benefit of science, of the 
individual and of the community. 



Broadcast for the diocese of Rome's Mary Year "Day of the Sick", 
February 14, 1954: 

We have always begged Jesus to make our heart in some 
way like His, a good heart, a meek heart, a heart open to all 
sufferings, to all pains. But how greatly we wish we had some 
reflection of the omnipotence that is His! How we long to 
pass in the midst of you, drying tears, bringing comfort, heal- 
ing wounds, giving back strength and health! We must con- 
tent ourself with being in the midst of you in spirit. We linger 
beside infants as a mother would, beside parents trembling 
at the thought of having perhaps to leave their children 
orphans. And to each one we give our blessing, praying the 
all-powerful God, our loving Father, to grant by means of it 
whatever He judges suitable to the special plan of providence 
He has chosen for each one of you. . . . 

Behold, we seem to see there in that hospital ward a young 
man who is suffering and in his suffering is cursing. Once he 
was strong and handsome; he was the pride and joy of his 
parents, whose hearts are now breaking because they fear 
losing him, wasted away by a relentless disease. And the youth 
feels as if life were slipping away from him: farewell to 
health, farewell to strength, to the surgings of hope; farewell 
to the plans cherished with boyish enthusiasm; farewell to 
love. And the young man rebels: "Why, why? Haven't I too 
the right to life? And can a good God let me suffer so, let me 
die? What evil have I done?" 

How many are you, sons and daughters, how many of you 



have contorted your features and raged with anger in your 
hearts and curses on your lips? You especially we wish to 
approach, to place our hand gently on your brow burning 
with fever. We wish, in all tenderness, to whisper to each of 
you: "Soul in anguish, why do you rebel? Let the rays of 
light which come down from the Cross of Jesus fall upon^this 
dark mystery of suffering. What evil has He done? Look over 
your bed, in the hospital ward; perhaps there is a picture of 
the Madonna. What evil did she do? And so, tortured soul, 
oppressed by trouble, listen: Jesus and his mother suffered, 
certainly not through their own fault but voluntarily and in 
full conformity with Divine design. Have you ever wondered 


It may be that you have done evil. Think back. Perhaps 
you have offended God many times, in many ways. You know 
that a serious sin merits for the soul eternal damnation, yet 
you are still alive, under the merciful gaze of God, in the 
loving arms of Mary. If, then, the Lord is now punishing 
some sin of yours, you should not on that account curse and 
debase yourself. You are not a slave punished by a cruel 
master, but a child of God, your Father, Who wishes not to 
take revenge but to correct you. He wants you to say to Him: 
"I have sinned/' so that He can pardon you and restore you 
to the life of the soul. 

Even if you have done no wrong, i you are innocent, still 
you should not rebel. As a matter of fact, the idea of punish- 
ment does not always explain suffering and human woes. Do 
you remember what is written in the Gospel? One clay, Jesus 
came upon a man bora blind, and after, His disciples asked 
Him whether that man or his parents had sinned. He replied: 
"Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents, but the works 
of God were to be made manifest in him." Even the mis- 
fortunes of the innocent, therefore, are a mysterious mani- 
festation of the Divine glory. 

Lest you be wearied by long reflections, look at the Holy 


and Immaculate Mother: she holds in her lap the lifeless 
Body of her Divine Son. Could you possibly imagine that the 
Sorrowful Mother would curse God? That she would ask the 
reasons for such suffering? We would not have been redeemed 
if that Mother had not seen her Son die in torment, and there 
would not have been for us any possibility of salvation. 

For all of you, dear children, who do not yet know how to 
pronounce the "So be it" of resignation and patience, we in- 
voke God's blessing, asking that He send a ray of His light 
into your souls, that you may cease to contradict with your 
will His plan, His will, His work, that you may become 
convinced that His Divine Fatherhood is still loving and 
benevolent, even when He judges it necessary to make use of 
the bitter chalice of suffering. 

Yet it is not always thus, dear children. Souls do not always 
rebel and curse under the weight of pain. There are, thanks 
be to God, souls resigned to the Divine Will serene, joyous 
souls. There are even souls that have positively sought out 
suffering. The story of one in particular we heard during the 
glorious Holy Year when our children came to us in extra- 
ordinary numbers from all parts of the world. 

There was a young woman, twenty years old, of humble 
origin, to whom Our Lord had given great charm as well as 
innocence. Everyone felt her attractiveness, for about her 
radiated the fragrance of an unsullied life. But one day she 
grew fearful lest she become an occasion of sin. Becoming 
interiorily convinced of this, she went to receive Our Lord, 
and in a burst of generosity asked Him to take away all her 
beauty and even her health. God granted her prayer and 
accepted her offer for the salvation of souls. We know that 
she is still living, though burning and being consumed like a 
living flame before God's throne of justice and love. She does 
not curse. She does not murmur. She does not ask God 
"Why?" There is always a smile on her lips and within her 
soul she treasures abiding peace and joy. One should ask her 


why she accepts suffering, why she is happy in it, why she 
looked for sufferings. And the same question should be asked 
of thousands of other souls who offer themselves to God in 
silent holocaust. 

Beloved sons and daughters, if to your eyes, wearied with 
sickness, the whole universe, gloomy and oppressive, is con- 
fined within the narrow space of a little room, let in the light 
of faith, and at once that universe will regain its limitless 
dimensions. Faith will certainly not make you love suffering 
for its own sake, but it will give you an insight into the many 
noble reasons for which sickness can be accepted serenely and 
even desired. 

Here is a man who has many sins to expiate, or at least he 
has stains on his soul; suffering will purify him. Here is a 
young woman who, once good, did not possess that strong 
character so necessary for one who was to be a wife and 
mother: suffering has been for her like a fire which has 
tempered her and given her great strength. 

Perhaps you have desired martyrdom: you have dreamed 
that the chance might be offered to you also to suffer for 
Jesus. Give glory to God: your bodily affliction is like 
shedding blood; it is a real form of martyrdom. 

And you, do you want to be like Jesus? Do you want to 
transform yourself unto Him? Do you want to be a channel 
of life for Him? In sickness you can find the Cross, be nailed 
to it and thus die to yourself so that He may live and make 
use of you. 

How many of you, beloved children, would like to help 
Jesus to save souls? Then offer Him your sufferings according 
to all the intentions for which He continually offers Himself 
on the altars of our churches. Your sacrifice, united to the 
Sacrifice of Jesus, will bring many sinners back to the Father; 
many without faith will find the true Faith; many weak 
Christians will receive the strength to live fully the teaching 
and the law of Christ. And on the day on which the mystery 


of Providence in the economy of salvation will be revealed in 
Heaven, you will at last see to what extent the world of the 
healthy is your debtor. 

And now, beloved sons and daughters, we leave you. We 
pray to Jesus, Friend of the suffering, to remain with you, to 
remain in you. We pray to the Immaculate Virgin, your most 
affectionate mother, to comfort you with her smile and to 
protect you beneath her mantle. 

4 G.F.L. 


Address to an international gathering of Catholic obstetricians and 
gynaecologists, invited by the International Secretariate of Catholic 
Doctors, the Italian Medical Association and the Mendel Institute of 
Genetics in Rome, at the Vatican, January 8, 1956: 

We have received information about a new discovery in 
the field of gynaecology and we have been asked to pass 
judgment upon it from the moral and religious point of view. 
It is a question of natural painless childbirth in which no 
artificial means is used and only the mother's natural forces 
are called into action. 

In our address to the members of the Fourth International 
Congress of Catholic Doctors ... we spoke of the gynaecologist 
who tries to lessen the sufferings of birth without endanger- 
ing mother or child and without doing harm to the bonds of 
motherly affection which we are told are ordinarily formed 
at that moment. This last remark referred to a procedure 
then used in the maternity hospital of a great modern 
city. In order to save the mother from suffering, she was 
plunged into a deep hypnosis, but it was noticed that this 
procedure resulted in emotional indifference towards the 
child, though some believe that this fact can be otherwise 
explained. . . . 

The new method of which we now wish to speak does not 
entail this danger. It leaves the mother at childbirth fully 
conscious from beginning to end and with the full use of her 
psychic forces (intellect, will, emotions); it suppresses, or, as 
others would say, simply lessens, the pain. . . . 



It consists in giving mothers (long before the period of 
childbirth) intensive instruction, adapted to their intellectual 
capacities, concerning the natural processes which take place 
in them during pregnancy and, in particular, during child- 
birth. ... At the same time repeated appeal is made to the 
mother's will and emotions not to allow feelings of fear to 
arise which are and have been proved to her to be unfounded. 
Also to be dispelled is any impression of pain that might tend 
to manifest itself but is in any case unjustified since it is 
based, as she has been taught, only on a false interpretation 
of the natural organic sensations of the contracting womb. 
Mothers are especially induced to consider the natural 
grandeur and dignity of what they accomplish at the moment 
of childbirth. Detailed technical explanations are given to 
them as to what they must do to ensure normal labour and 
delivery. They are taught, for example, precisely how to exert 
their muscles and how to breathe properly. This teaching 
takes especially the form of practical exercises so that the 
technique may be familiar to them at the moment of de- 
livery. It is then a question of guiding mothers and preparing 
them to go through childbirth not in a purely passive manner, 
as an inevitable process, but to adopt an active attitude and 
bring to bear upon it the influence of their mind, will and 
emotions so as to bring childbirth to term in the manner in- 
tended by nature and with the aid of nature. 

During labour the mother is not left to her own resources. 
She profits by the help and the constant supervision of a staff 
trained in the new techniques, who remind her of what she 
has learned and point out, at the proper moment, what she 
should do or avoid or change. They quickly right her mistakes 
as occasion arises, and help her to correct anomalies that may 

This is in essence the theory and practice of painless child- 
birth according to the Russian researchers. For his part, the 
Englishman Grantly Dick Read has perfected a theory and 


technique that are analagous in certain points. In his philo- 
sophical and metaphysical postulates, however, he differs sub- 
stantially, because his are not based like theirs upon a 
materialistic concept 

Is this method morally irreproachable? 

The answer, which must take into account the object, end 
and motive of the method, may be given briefly: "Con- 
sidered in itself, it contains nothing that can be criticised 
from the moral point of view." 

The instruction given in regard to nature's travail in 
childbirth; the correction of false interpretations of organic 
sensations, and the invitation to correct them; the influence 
exercised to avoid groundless anxiety and fear; the timely 
help afforded to the mother in childbirth so that she may 
collaborate with Nature and remain tranquil under self- 
control; an increased consciousness of the greatness of mother- 
hood in general and particularly of the hour when the mother 
brings forth her child all these are positive values to which 
no reproach can be made. They are benefits for the mother in 
childbirth and fully conform to the will of the Creator. 

Viewed and understood in this way, the method is a natural 
uplifting influence, protecting the mother from superficiality 
and levity. It influences her personality in a positive manner, 
so that at the very important moment of childbirth she may 
manifest the firmness and solidity of her character. 

Under other aspects, too, the method can lead to 
positive moral achievement. If pain and fear are success- 
fully eliminated from childbirth, that very fact frequently 
lessens an inducement to commit immoral acts in the use of 
marriage rights. . . . 

It can and should be done for motives and for purposes 
that are irreproachable, such as the interest presented by a 
purely scientific fact; the natural and noble sentiment which 
creates esteem and love for the human person in the mother, 
which wants to do her good and help her; a deep religious 


and Christian feeling inspired by the ideals of living 
Christianity. . . . 

A criticism of the new method from the theological point 
of view should in particular take account of Holy Scripture, 
because materialistic propaganda claims to find a glaring 
contradiction between the truth of science and that of 
Scripture. In Genesis we read: "In dolore paries filios" (in 
pain shall you bring forth children). To understand this say- 
ing correctly it is necessary to consider the sentence passed 
by God in the whole of its context. In inflicting this punish- 
ment upon our first parents and their descendants God did 
not wish to forbid, and did not forbid, men to seek after and 
make use of all the riches of creation, to make progress step 
by step in culture, to make life in this world more bearable 
and better, to lighten the burden of work and fatigue, pain, 
sickness and death, in a word, to subdue the earth. 

Likewise, in punishing Eve, God did not wish to forbid, 
nor did He forbid, mothers to make use of means which 
render childbirth easier and less painful. One must not seek 
subterfuges for the words of Sacred Scripture; they remain 
true in the sense intended and expressed by the Creator, 
namely : motherhood will give the mother much suffering to 
bear. In what precise manner did God conceive this chastise- 
ment, and how will He carry it out? Sacred Scripture does 
not say. 

There are some who allege that originally childbirth was 
entirely painless, and that it became painful only at a later 
date (perhaps because of an erroneous interpretation of the 
judgment of God) as a result of auto-suggestion and hetero- 
suggestion, arbitrary associations, conditioned reflexes and 
because of faulty behaviour of mothers in labour. So far, 
however, these assertions on the whole have not been proved. 
On the other hand, it could be true that an incorrect be- 
haviour, psychic or physical, on the part of women in labour 
is capable of increasing considerably the difficulties of delivery 
and has in reality increased them. 


Science and technique can therefore use the conclusions of 
experimental psychology, of physiology and of gynaecology 
(as in the psycho-prophylactic method) in order to eliminate 
the sources of error and painful conditioned reflexes, and to 
render childbirth as painless as possible. Sacred Scripture 
does not forbid it. 


A statement by the Pope to midwives in 1951 condemning 
deliberate abortion gave rise to a long and often heated de- 
bate in newspapers and public meetings upon the erroneous 
question of "Mother or BabyT* 

Later in the year His Holiness made a second pronounce- 
ment re-stating the Church's teaching and clearing up 
misunderstandings and misrepresentations. 

Address to the Congress of the Italian Association of Catholic Mid- 
wives, given at Castel Gandolfo, October 29, 1951 : 

Every human being, even a child in the mother's womb, 
has a right to life directly from God, and not from the parents 
or from any human society or authority. 

Hence, there is no man, no human authority, no science, 
no medical, eugenic, social, economic or moral "indication" 
that can offer or produce a valid juridical title to a direct 
deliberate disposal of an innocent human life; that is to say, 
a disposal that aims at its destruction whether as an end or 
as a means to another end which is perhaps in no way un- 
lawful in itself. 

Thus, for example, to save the life of the mother is a very 
noble end; but the direct killing of the child as a means to 
that end is not lawful. 

The direct destruction of the so-called "life without value", 
whether born or yet to be born, such as was practised very 
widely a few years ago, cannot in any way be justified. Hence, 
when this practice began, the Church formally declared that 



it was against the Natural Law and the Divine positive law, 
and consequently unlawful to kill, even by order of the public 
authorities, those who were innocent but, on account of some 
physical or mental defect, rendered useless to the State and a 

burden upon it.* 

The life of one who is innocent is untouchable, and any 
direct attempt or aggression against It is a violation of one of 
the fundamental laws without which secure human society is 


We have no need to teach you in detail the meaning and 
the gravity in your profession of this fundamental law. But 
never forget that there rises above every man-made code and 
above every "indication" the faultless law of God. The 
apostolate of your profession demands of you that you pass 
on to others that knowledge of human life, that regard and 
respect for it, which your Christian faith nurtures in your 
hearts. You must, when called upon, be prepared to defend 
resolutely and, when possible, protect the helpless and hidden 
life of the child, following the Divine precept: "Non occides" 
Thou shalt not kill 

Address to the Family Front, November 26, 1951 : 

Innocent human life, in whatsoever condition it is found, 
is withdrawn from the very first moment of its existence from 
any direct deliberate attack. This is a fundamental right of 
the human person, which is of universal value in the Christian 
concept of life; hence as valid for the life still hidden within 
the womb of the mother as for the life already born and 
developing independently of her; as much opposed to direct 
abortion as to the direct killing of the child before, during or 
after its birth. 

Whatever foundation there may be for the distinction 
between these various phases of the development of life, born 
or still unborn, in profane and ecclesiastical law, and in 

* Decree of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, 
December st, 1940. 


certain civil and penal consequences, all these cases involve 
a grave and unlawful attack upon the inviolability of human 

This principle holds good both for the life of the child as 
well as for that of the mother. Never and in no case has the 
Church taught that the life of the child must be preferred 
to the life of the mother. It is erroneous to put the question 
with this alternative: either the life of the child or the life 
of the mother. No, neither the life of the mother nor the life 
of the child can be subjected to an act of direct suppression. 
In the one case as in the other, there can be but one obliga- 
tion: to make every effort to save the lives of both, of the 
mother and of the child. 

It is one of the finest and most noble aspirations of the 
medical profession to search continually for new means of 
ensuring the life of both mother and child. But if, notwith- 
standing all the progress of science, there still remain, and 
will remain in the future, cases in which one must reckon 
with the death of the mother, when it is the mother's wish to 
bring to birth the life that is within her, and not to destroy 
it in violation of the command of God: "Thou shalt not kill," 
nothing else remains for the man, who will make every effort 
till the very last moment to help and save, but to bow respect- 
fully before the laws of nature and the dispositions of Divine 

But, it is objected, the life of the mother, especially the 
mother of a large family, is of incomparably greater value 
than that of a child not yet born. The application of the 
theory of the equivalation of values to the case which occupies 
us has already been accepted in juridical discussions. The 
reply to this harrowing objection is not difficult. The in- 
violability of the life of an innocent human being does not 
depend upon its greater or lesser value. It is already more 
than ten years since the Church formally condemned the 
destruction of life considered to be " without value"; and 
whosoever knows the sad events that preceded and provoked 


that condemnation, whosoever is able to weigh the direct 
consequences that would result from measuring the inviol- 
ability of innocent life according to its value, can well appre- 
ciate the motives that determined that condemnation. 

Besides, who can judge with certainty which of the two 
lives is in fact the more precious? Who can know what path 
the child will follow and to what heights of achievement and 
perfection he may reach? Two greatnesses are being com- 
pared here, one of them being an unknown quantity. 

In this regard we wish to cite an example which may per- 
haps be already known to some of you. ... It goes back to 
the year 1905. 

At that time there was a young lady of noble birth and 
still nobler sentiments but who was frail and of delicate con- 
stitution. As a young girl, she had been ill with a slight apical 
pleurisy* which seemed cured. When, however, after a happy 
marriage, she felt a new life springing in her womb, she soon 
became aware of a peculiar physical indisposition, which 
alarmed two able doctors who were attending her with every 
care and solicitude. The old apical trouble, the cicatrised 
lesion, had become active again. In their opinon, there was 
no time to lose. If the gentle lady was to be saved, a thera- 
peutic abortion would have to be provoked without the least 
delay. The husband also realised the gravity of the case and 
gave his consent to the distressful operation. But when the 
midwife in attendance duly made known the decision of the 
doctors and sought to bring her to defer to their opinion, she 
replied with firm voice: "I thank you for your merciful 
advice; but I cannot suppress the life of my child. I cannot, I 
cannot! I feel it already throbbing in my womb; it has the 
right to life; it comes from God and should know God so as 
to love and enjoy Him/' Her husband also entreated, begged 
and implored her. She remained unyielding, and quietly 
awaited the event. A baby girl was regularly born, but imme- 
diately after, the health of the mother began to get worse. 
The pulmonary lesion spread; the conditions worsened. Two 


months later she was at the end of her strength. She once 
again saw her little child, who was growing healthily under 
the care of a robust nurse. Her lips broke into a sweet smile, 
and she died peacefully. Many years went by. In a religious 
institute a young Sister might be particularly noticed, totally 
dedicated to the care and education of abandoned children, 
bending over the sick children with motherly love, as if to 
give them life. It was she, the daughter of the sacrifice, who 
now, with her generous heart, was doing so much good among 
abandoned children. The heroism of her fearless mother had 
not been in vain. 

We ask: is it possible that Christian feeling, even also 
purely human feeling, has been dulled to the point that it 
cannot any longer appreciate the sublime holocaust of the 
mother and the visible hand of Divine Providence which 
brought forth such splendid fruit from that holocaust? 

Deliberately we have always used the expression "direct 
attempt on the life of an innocent person," "direct killing". 
Because, if, for example, the saving of the life of the future 
mother, independently of her pregnant condition, should 
urgently require a surgical act or other therapeutic treatment 
which would have as an accessory consequence, in no way 
desired nor intended, but inevitable, the death of the foetus, 
such an act could no longer be called a direct attempt upon 
an innocent life. Under these conditions the operation can be 
lawful, like other similar medical interventions granted 
always that a good of high worth is concerned, such as life, 
and that it is not possible to postpone the operation until 
after the birth of the child, nor to have recourse to other 
efficacious remedies. 


No one going to see the Vicar of Christ, the Holy Father, in 
the Vatican is asked for his or her credentials. A non-Catholic 
enters as easily as a Catholic. An agnostic, an atheist, or a 
militant Marxist is welcome if he wishes, to see the Pope and 
hear his words. 

Among th 2,500 delegates attending the Congress on 
Fertility and Sterility in Naples in 1956, there were four from 
Communist China, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia. 
His Holiness addressed the delegates in the Vatican on 
May 19. 

It is true that an increased birth rate is a manifestation of 
the creative energies of a people or a family. It illustrates the 
courage men show in the face of life with its risks and its 
difficulties. It emphasises man's constructive and progressive 
will. With reason do we say that the physical impossibility of 
exercising paternity and maternity becomes a source of dis- 
couragement and introversion. Life, which ardently longs to 
continue and reproduce itself, is thrown back upon itself, so 
to speak, and many hearths, alas, succumb to this trial. 

It is with pleasure that we should like to mention here one 
consideration that you yourselves have placed in relief. If 
your zeal in pursuing research into matrimonial sterility and 
the means of overcoming it presents a scientific aspect worthy 
of attention, it is abundantly true that it also involves lofty 
spiritual and ethical values that must be taken into account. 

It is a profoundly human trait for the married couple to 



see and find in their child the true and complete expression 
of their reciprocal love and their mutual giving of self. It is 
not difficult to understand why the unsatisfied desire for 
paternity or maternity is deeply felt as a sad and painful 
sacrifice by parents who are animated by sound and noble 
sentiments. Moreover, involuntary sterility in a marriage can 
become a serious danger to the union and even to the stability 
of the family. . . . 

The Church has rejected every concept of marriage that 
would threaten to throw it back upon itself and make it a 
selfish quest for emotional and physical satisfaction in the 
interests of the husband and wife alone. But the Church has 
likewise rejected the opposite attitude which would pretend 
to separate, in generation, the biological activity in the per- 
sonal relation of the married couple. The child is the fruit 
of the conjugal union when that union finds full expression 
by bringing into play the organic functions, the associated 
sensible emotions and the spiritual and disinterested love 
that animates the union. 

It is in the unity of this human act that we should consider 
the biological conditions of generation. 

Never is it permitted to separate these various aspects to 
the positive exclusion either of the procreative intention or 
of the conjugal relationship. The relationship which unites 
the father and mother to their child is rooted in the organic 
fact and still more in the deliberate conduct of the husband 
and wife who give themselves to each other and whose will to 
give themselves blossoms forth and finds its true attainment 
in the being which they bring into the world. 

Moreover, only this consecration of self, begun in generosity 
and brought to realisation in hardship, by the conscious 
acceptance of the responsibilities which it involves, can 
guarantee that the task of bringing up the children will be 
pursued with all the care and courage and patience that it 

Therefore, it can be affirmed that human fecundity, 


beyond the physical factors, takes on essential moral aspects 
which must necessarily be considered even when the subject 
Is treated from the medical point of view. 
- It is quite evident that when the scholar and the physician 
approach a problem in their specialised field, they have the 
right to concentrate their attention upon its strictly scien- 
tific elements and solve the problem on the basis of these 
data alone. But when one is confronted with practical appli- 
cations to man, it is impossible not to take into account the 
repercussion which the proposed methods will have upon the 
person and his destiny. The importance of a human act con- 
sists precisely in going beyond the moment itself at which 
the act is posited to consider the entire orientation of a life, 
and to bring it into relation with the absolute. This is already 
true of everyday activity. How much more it is true of an 
act which, together with the reciprocal love of the husband 
and wife, involves their future and that of their posterity. 

We also believe that it is of capital importance for you not 
to neglect this perspective when you consider the methods of 
artificial fecundation. The means by which one tends to- 
wards the production of a new life take on an essential human 
significance inseparable from the desired end and susceptible 
of causing grave harm to this very end if these means are not 
conformable to reality and to the laws inscribed in the nature 
of beings. 

We have been asked to give some directives on this point 


On the subject of experiments in artificial fecundation in 
vitro, let it suffice for us to observe that they must be rejected 
as immoral and absolutely illicit. 

With regard to the various moral problems posed by arti- 
ficial fecundation, in the ordinary meaning of the expression, 
or "artificial insemination", we have already expressed our 
thought in a discourse to physicians on September 29, 1949. 
For the details we refer you to what we said then, and we 


confine ourseif here to repeating the concluding judgment 
given there: 

"With regard to artificial fecundation, not only is there 
reason to be extremely reserved, but it must be absolutely 
rejected. In speaking thus, one is not necessarily forbidding 
the use of certain artificial means destined solely to facilitate 
the natural act or to achieve the attainment of the natural 
act normally performed/' 

But since artificial fecundation is being more and more 
widely used, and in order to correct some erroneous opinions 
which are being spread concerning what we have taught, we 
have the following to add: 

Artificial fecundation exceeds the limits of the right which 
spouses have acquired by the matrimonial contract, namely, 
that of fully exercising their natural sexual capacity in the 
natural accomplishment of the marital act. The contract in 
question does not confer upon them a right to artificial fecun- 
dation, for such a right is not in any way expressed in the 
right to the natural conjugal act and cannot be deduced 
from it. Still less can one derive it from the right to the 
"child", the primary "end" of marriage. The matrimonial 
contract does not give this right, because it has for its object 
not the "child" but the "natural acts" which are capable of 
engendering a new life and are destined to this end. It must 
likewise be said that artificial fecundation violates the 
Natural Law and is contrary to justice and morality. . . . 


Address to a gathering of women of Catholic Action, teaching nuns, 
school mistresses and representatives of the children of Catholic 
Action, October 26, 1941 : 

It is a curious circumstance and, as Pope Pius XI remarked 
in his Encyclical, a lamentable one, that whereas no one 
would dream of suddenly becoming a mechanic or an 
engineer, a doctor or a lawyer, without any apprenticeship or 
preparation, yet every day there are numbers of young men 
and women who marry without giving an instant's thought 
to preparing themselves for the arduous work of educating 
their children which awaits them. . . . 

Fortunate the child whose mother stands by its cradle like 
a guardian angel to inspire and lead it in the path of good- 
ness! And so, while we congratulate you upon what you have 
already achieved, we cannot but exhort you warmly and anew 
to develop those splendid organisations which are doing so 
much to provide for every rank and social class educators 
conscious of their high mission, in mind and bearing alert 
against evil and zealous to promote good. Such sentiments in 
a woman and a mother give her the right to that reverence 
and dignity which belong to a man's loyal helpmeet; such a 
mother is like a pillar, for she is the central support of the 
home; she is like a beacon whose light gives an example to 
the parish and brings illumination to the pious associations 
of which she is a member. 

Especially opportune are those organisations of your Union 
of Catholic Action which seek to help and train the young 

6 4 


wife before childbearing and during the infancy of her off- 
spring. In this you are doing an angel's work, watching over 
the mother and the little one she bears within her, and then, 
when the baby comes, standing by the cot to help the mother 
as with breast and smile she feeds the body and soul of the 
tiny angel that Heaven has sent her. 

To woman God has given the sacred mission, painful yet 
how joyous, of maternity; and to her too, more than to anyone 
else, is entrusted the first education of the child in its early 
months and years. 

Of heredity, which may exercise such an influence upon 
the future cast of a child's character, we will not speak except 
to say that this hidden heritage sometimes points an accusing 
finger at the irregular life of the parents, who are thus gravely 
responsible for making it difficult for their offspring to lead 
a truly Christian life. . . . 

Many of the moral characteristics which you see in the 
youth or the man owe their origin to the manner and circum- 
stances of his first upbringing in infancy: purely organic 
habits contracted at that time may later prove a serious 
obstacle to the spiritual life of the soul. And so you will make 
it your special care in the treatment of your child to observe 
the prescriptions of a perfect hygiene, so that when it comes 
to the use of reason its bodily organs and faculties will be 
healthy and robust and free from distorted tendencies. This 
is the reason why, except where it is quite impossible, it is 
most desirable that the mother should feed her child at her 
own breast. Who shall say what mysterious influences are 
exerted upon the growth of that little creature by the mother 
upon whom it depends entirely for its development. 

Have you observed those little eyes, wide open, restlessly 
questioning, their glance darting from this thing to that, 
following a movement or a gesture, already expressing joy or 
pain, anger and obstinacy, and giving other signs of those 
little passions that nestle in the heart of man even before the 
tiny lips have learned to utter a word? This is perfectly 

5 G.F.L. 


natural. Notwithstanding what certain thinkers have main- 
tained, we are not born endowed with knowledge or with the 
memories and dreams of a life already lived. 

The mind of the child as it comes forth from its mother's 
womb is a page upon which nothing is written; from hour to 
hour as it passes on its way from the cradle to the tomb its 
eyes and other senses, internal and external, transmit the life 
of the world through their own vital activity, and will write 
upon that page the images and ideas of the things among 

which it lives From that early age a loving look, a warning 

word, must teach the child not to yield to all its impressions, 
and as reason dawns it must learn to discriminate and to 
master the vagaries of its sensations; in a word, under the 
guidance and admonition of the mother it must begin the 
work of its own education 

Train the mind of your children. Do not give them wrong 
ideas or wrong reasons for things. Whatever their questions 
may be, do not answer them with evasions or untrue state- 
ments, which their minds rarely accept, but take occasion 
from them lovingly and patiently to train their minds, which 
want only to open to the truth and to grasp it with the first 
ingenuous gropings of their reasoning and reflective powers. 
Who can say what many a genius may not owe to the pro- 
longed and trustful questionings of a childhood at the home 
fireside ! 

Train the character of your children. Correct their faults, 
encourage and cultivate their good qualities and co-ordinate 
them with that stability which will make for resolution in 
after life. Your children, conscious as they grow up and as 
they begin to think and will, that they are guided by a good 
parental will, constant and strong, free from violence and 
anger, not subject to weakness or inconsistency, will learn 
in time to see therein the interpreter of another and higher 
will, the will of God, and so they will plant in their souls 
the seeds of those early moral habits which fashion and sus- 
tain a character, train it to self-control in moments of crisis 


and to courage in the face of conflict or sacrifice, and imbue 
it with a deep sense of Christian duty. 

Train their hearts. Frequently the decision of a man's 
destiny, the ruin of his character or a grave danger threaten- 
ing him may be traced to his childish years when his heart 
was spoiled by the fond flattery, silly fussing and foolish in- 
dulgence of misguided parents. The impressionable little 
heart became accustomed to see all things revolve and gravi- 
tate around it, to find all things yielding to its will and 
caprice, and so there took root in it that boundless egoism 
of which the parents themselves were later to become the first 

All this is often the just penalty of the selfishness of parents 
who deny their only child the joy of having little brothers 
and sisters who, sharing in the mother's love, would have 
accustomed him to think of others besides himself. . . . 

But the day will come when the childish heart will feel 
fresh impulses stirring within it; new desires will disturb 
the serenity of those early years. In that time of trial, Christian 
mothers, remember that to train the heart means to train 
the will to resist the attacks of evil and the insidious tempta- 
tions of passion. During that period of transition from the 
unconscious purity of infancy to the triumphant purity of 
adolescence you have a task of the highest importance to 
fulfil. You have to prepare your sons and daughters so that 
they may pass with unfaltering step, like those who pick their 
way among serpents, through that time of crisis and physical 
change; and pass through it without losing anything of the 
joy of innocence, preserving intact that natural instinct of 
modesty with which Providence has girt them as a check upon 
wayward passion. 

That sense of modesty, which in its spontaneous abhorrence 
from the impure is akin to the sense of religion, is made ol 
little account in these days; but you, mothers, will take care 
that they do not lose it through indecency in dress or self 
adornment, through unbecoming familiarities or immoral 


spectacles; on the contrary, you will seek to make it more 
delicate and alert, more upright and sincere. You will keep 
a watchful eye on their steps. You will not suffer the white- 
ness of their souls to be stained and contaminated by corrupt 
and corrupting company. You will inspire them with a high 
esteem and jealous love for purity, advising them to com- 
mend themselves to the sure and motherly protection of the 
Immaculate Virgin. 

Finally, with the discretion of a mother and a teacher, and 
thanks to the open-hearted confidence with which you have 
been able to inspire your children, you will not fail to watch 
for and to discern the moment in which certain unspoken 
questions have occurred to their minds and are troubling 
their senses. It will then be your duty to your daughters, the 
father's duty to your sons, carefully and delicately to unveil 
the truth as far as it appears necessary, to give a prudent, true 
and Christian answer to those questions, and set their minds 
at rest. If imparted by the lips of Christian parents, at the 
proper time, in the proper measure, and with the proper 
precautions, the revelation of the mysterious and marvellous 
laws of life will be received by them with reverence and 
gratitude, and will enlighten their minds with far less danger 
than if they learned them haphazard, from some disturbing 
encounter, from secret conversations, through information 
received from over-sophisticated companions, or from clan- 
destine reading, the more dangerous and pernicious as secrecy 
inflames the imagination and troubles the senses. Your words, 
if they are wise and discreet, will prove a safeguard and a 
warning in the midst of the temptations and the corruption 
which surround them, "because foreseen, an arrow comes 
more slowly". 

But in this great work of the Christian education of your 
sons and daughters you well understand that training in the 
home, however wise, however thorough, is not enough. It 
needs to be supplemented and perfected by the powerful aid 
of religion. From the moment of baptism the priest possesses 


the authority o a spiritual father and a pastor over your 
children, and you must co-operate with him in teaching them 
those first rudiments of catechism and piety which are the 
only basis of a solid education, and of which you, the earliest 
teachers of your children, ought to have a sufficient and sure 
knowledge. You cannot teach what you do not know your- 
selves. Teach them to love God, to love Christ, to love our 
Mother the Church and the pastors of the Church who are 
your guides. Love the catechism and teach your children to 
love it; it is the great handbook of the love and fear of God, 
of Christian wisdom and of eternal life. 

In your work of education, which is many sided, you will 
feel the need and the obligation of having recourse to others 
to help you. Choose helpers who are Christians like your- 
selves, and choose them with all the care that is called for by 
the treasure which you are entrusting to them: you are 
committing to them the faith, the purity and the piety of your 
children. But when you have chosen them you must not think 
that you are henceforth liberated from your duty and your 
vigilance : you must co-operate with them. . . . 

Some mothers may say children are so difficult to manage 
nowadays! I can do nothing with that son of mine; that 
daughter of mine is impossible ! 

Admittedly many boys and girls at the age of twelve or 
fifteen show themselves intractable. But why? Because when 
they were two or three years old they were allowed to do as 
they pleased. True, some temperaments are ungrateful and 
rebellious; but however unresponsive, however obstinate, he 
is still your child. Would you love him any the less than his 
brothers and sisters if he were sickly or deformed? God has 
given him to you; see that you do not treat him as the outcast 
of the family. No child is so unruly that he cannot be trained 
with care, patience and love; and it will rarely happen that 
even the stoniest and most unpromising soil will not bear 
some flower of submission and virtue, if only an unreasonable 
severity does not run the risk of exterminating the seed of 


good will which even the proudest soul has hidden within it. 

The whole education of your children would be ruined 
were they to discover in their parents and their eyes are 
sharp enough to see any signs of favouritism, undue pre- 
ferences, or antipathies in regard to any of them. For your 
own good and for the good of the family it must be clear that, 
whether you use measured severity or give encouragement 
and caresses, you have an equal love for all, a love which 
makes no distinction save for the correction of evil or for the 
encouragement of good. Have you not received them all 
equally from God? . . . 

What a majestic figure is that of the mother in the home 
as she fulfils her destiny at the cradle side, the nurse and 
teacher of her little ones! Hers is truly a task full of labour, 
and we should be tempted to deem her unequal to it were it 
not for the grace of God which is ever at hand to enlighten, 
direct and sustain her in her daily anxieties and toil; were 
it not too for those other educators, mother-like in spirit and 
energy, whom she calls to aid her in the formation of these 
youthful souls. Imploring God to fill you to overflowing with 
His graces and to give increase to your manifold labours on 
behalf of the young entrusted to you, we grant you from our 
heart, as a pledge of heavenly favours, our fatherly Apostolic 



On August 15, 1954) * n Rome, Cardinal Ciriaci issued a 
letter for Bishops throughout the world denouncing wide- 
spread offences against modesty in dress and similar evils in 
films, newspapers, magazines and other publications, and 
conveying the Pope's blessing upon clergy and laity who 
would respond actively to the call of His Holiness for a 
reform of private and public morals. 

This letter arose out of the Papal Encyclical commemorat- 
ing the centenary of the definition of the dogma of Our 
Lady's Immaculate Conception, in which His. Holiness ex- 
horted all to work for an ever-increasing revival of Christian 
morals under the protection of the Mother of God. 

Encyclical letter on Holy Virginity, March 25, 1954: 

It is against common sense, which the Church always 
esteems, to consider the sexual instinct as the most important 
and the deepest of human tendencies, and to conclude from 
this that man cannot master it throughout his life without 
danger to his vital nervous system and consequently without 
damaging the harmony of his personality. 

As St. Thomas very rightly observes, the deepest natural 
instinct is the instinct of self-preservation. The sexual instinct 
comes second. Moreover, human reason the distinguishing 
privilege of our nature is intended to control these funda- 
mental instincts, and by mastering them to ennoble them. 

It is unfortunately true that the sin of Adam has caused a 
deep disturbance in our bodily faculties and our passions, so 



that they tend to control the life of the senses and even the 
soul, darkening our reason and weakening our will. But 
Christ's grace is given us, especially by the sacraments, to 
help us to keep our bodies in subjection and to live by the 

The virtue of chastity does not mean that we are insensible 
to the urge of concupiscence, but that we subordinate it to 
reason and the law of grace by striving whole-heartedly after 
what is noblest in human and Christian life. To acquire this 
perfect mastery of the spirit over the senses it is not enough 
to refrain from acts directly contrary to chastity. It is neces- 
sary also generously to renounce anything that may closely 
or remotely offend this virtue. By this will the soul be able to 
reign fully over the body and lead its spiritual life in peace 
and freedom. 

Who, then, does not see, in the light of Catholic principles, 
that perfect chastity and virginity, far from harming the 
normal unfolding of the nature of man or woman, on the 
contrary endows it with the highest moral nobility? . . . 

Here are the helps commended to us by our Divine Re- 
deemer by which we may effectively protect our virtue: 
constant vigilance, whereby we diligently do all that we can 
ourselves; constant prayer to God, asking for what we cannot 
do by ourselves because of human weakness. "Watch and 
pray, that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is 
willing, but the flesh is weak." Vigilance which guards every 
moment and circumstance of our lives is absolutely essential 
for us: "For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit 
against the flesh." 

If anyone gives way even a little to the allurements of the 
flesh he will quickly be pulled towards "those works of the 
flesh" which the Apostle speaks of, the basest and ugliest 
vices of men. 

Hence we must watch particularly over the impulses of 
our passions and our senses, so controlling them by voluntary 


discipline in our lives and by bodily mortifications that we 
make them obedient to right reason and the law of God. . . . 

All holy men and women have most carefully guarded the 
impulses of their senses and their passions, and at times have 
taken severe measures to crush them, in keeping with the 
teaching of the Divine Master: "But I say to you, that who- 
soever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already 
committed adultery with her in his heart.". . . 

It is abundantly clear that with this warning our Saviour 
demands above all that we never consent to any sin, even in 
thought, and that we steadfastly remove from us anything 
that can even slightly tarnish the beautiful virtue of purity. 
In this matter, no diligence, no severity, can be considered 
excessive. If ill-health or other reasons do not allow one 
heavier bodily austerities, still they never free one from vigi- 
lance and interior self-control. 

On this point it should be noted, as indeed the Fathers 
and Doctors of the Church teach, that we can more easily 
struggle against and repress the wiles of evil and the allure- 
ments of the passions if we do not directly struggle against 
them, but instead flee from them as best we may. . . . Flight 
must be understood in the sense that not only do we diligently 
avoid occasions of sin but especially that in struggles of this 
kind we lift up our minds and hearts to God. 


Address by radio to a pilgrimage of women to the shrine of Our Lady 
of Loreto sponsored by the Federation of Italian Women, October 14, 

The constant tradition of the Church in setting forth Mary 
to Christian women as the sublime model of a virgin and a 
mother shows the high esteem that Christianity nourishes for 
womanhood and the immense trust the Church herself re- 
poses in the power of woman for good and her mission on 
behalf of the family and society. 

Woman, the crown of creation, and in a certain sense its 
masterpiece; woman, that gentle creature to whose delicate 
hands God seems to have entrusted the future of the world 
to such an extent, in so far as she is man's helper; woman, the 
expression of all that is best, kindest, most lovable here below, 
still finds that, despite the deceptive appearances of having 
been placed on a pedestal, she is often the object of a lack of 
respect and sometimes of a subtle but positive contempt on 
the part of a world with tendencies towards paganism. . . . 
The only possible basic idea for your movement is the one 
that urged you on to found your federation in the first place, 
the one we pointed out at that time: "The preservation and 
growth of that dignity which womankind has received from 

The dignity of woman. People are always talking about 
this dignity, but they do not always show a true and adequate 
understanding of it, an understanding that will prevent false 



conclusions, unjustified complaints and the occasional vin- 
dictive claims that are made without any real basis. 

Even now you can still find some people who tend to play 
down or even completely ignore the Church's meritorious 
role in restoring womankind to its original dignity. They 
never tire of claiming that the Church is actually bitterly 
opposed to the so-called "emancipation of woman from a 
feudal regime". They use false or fragmentary evidence and 
give a superficial interpretation of customs and laws that 
were inspired by necessary proprieties of the day. They do 
this in an attempt to associate the Church with something 
that she has firmly opposed from the very beginning that 
unjust status of personal inferiority to which paganism often 
condemned woman. 

Is it necessary for us to recall the famous words of St. Paul 
which are reflected in the internal nature and external atti- 
tude of all Christian civilisation : "Neither Jew nor Greek; 
neither slave nor freeman; neither male nor female. For you 
are all one in Jesus Christ."'} 

This does not mean that Christian law does away with the 
limitations or proper subjection which arise from the de- 
mands of nature, human and Christian propriety, or from 
the needs of communal life, which cannot last long without 
some authority, even in its smallest unit, the family. . . . 

Need we repeat what is the real foundation of the dignity 
of woman? It is precisely the same as the foundation of the 
dignity of man. Both are children of God, redeemed by 
Christ, with the same supernatural destiny. How can anyone 
speak of woman as having an incomplete personality, or speak 
of a minimisation of her worth, or of a supposed moral in- 
feriority, and still claim to derive all that from Catholic 

There is another foundation for dignity that is identical 
for both the sexes. Divine Providence has given both man 
and woman a common destiny here on earth, the destiny 
towards which all human history is moving and which is 


indicated in the command which the Creator gave to our first 
parents together: "Increase and multiply, and fill the earth 
and subdue it, and, rule over it" 

Because of this temporal goal, there is no field of human 
activity that must remain closed to woman. Her horizons 
reach out to the regions of politics, work, the arts, sport but 
always in subordination to the primary functions fixed by 
nature itself. The Creator, with His wonderful ways of bring- 
ing harmony out of variety, has established a common destiny 
for all mankind, but He has also given the two sexes different 
and complementary functions, like two roads leading to the 
same destination. That is why men and women have a differ- 
ent physical and psychological structure, different attitudes, 
characteristics and inclinations, which are balanced by the 
wonderful law of compensation, and fit together to lend a 
marvellous harmony to the work of each. 

So we have an absolute equality in personal and funda- 
mental values, but different functions that are complement- 
ary and superbly equivalent. From these arise the various 
rights and duties of the one and the other. 

There can be no doubt that the primary function and the 
sublime mission of woman is motherhood, and in accordance 
with the lofty goal which the Creator Himself has set in the 
order He has chosen, this dominates the life of woman in- 
tensively and extensively. Her very physical structure, her 
spiritual qualities, the richness of her sensibilities combine 
to make woman a mother to such an extent that motherhood 
represents the ordinary way for woman to reach her true 
perfection even in the moral order and at the same time 
to achieve her double destiny, that on earth and that in 

Motherhood is not the ultimate foundation of woman's 
dignity, but it does give her such splendour and so great a 
role in the working out of human destiny that this by itself 
is enough to make every man on the face of the earth, great 


or small as he may be, bow with reverence and love in the 
presence of his own mother. 

On other occasions we have explained that the perfection 
of woman, naturally ordained to physical motherhood, can 
also be achieved in other ways, through many kinds of good 
works, and especially through the voluntary acceptance of a 
higher calling, whose dignity is to be measured by the Divine 
summits of virginity, charity and the Christian apostolate. 

The radiant truth that shines forth in this series of con- 
siderations is that woman, both as a person and as a mother, 
derives all her dignity from God and His wide dispositions. 
As a result, Natural Law makes it an inalienable and inviol- 
able dignity which women are obliged to preserve, protect 
and increase. Let this be the basic idea you spread and the 
fundamental ideal you set for your sisters. This ideal ought 
to inspire your federation, for it is the best criterion for a 
just estimate of your rights and duties. When you approach 
society and its institutions in search of your own proper place 
in your own specific field of activity, together with the rights 
and privileges that you may justly claim, make your Christian 
dignity the ultimate foundation for those claims. Other points 
remain secondary, and a proper consideration of them must 
be based upon the principles we have just explained. (We 
are thinking especially of the so-called "equality of the sexes", 
which has been the cause of so much spiritual discontent and 
consequent bitterness for women who do not have a clear 
view of their own special worth.) Your teaching should aim 
first at the interior formation of each individual in accord- 
ance with her own state of life, and then at putting her on 
the road towards external social action. It should always con- 
form with the doctrine and counsel of the Church. This does 
not mean that you must mistrust all discoveries and teach- 
ings of modern education on matters affecting you, or that 
you must, as a matter of principle, reject attitudes that are 
now generally accepted. At the same time, there is only one 
way to be really sure of possessing truth and a sound moral 


outlook and to be certain of success, and that is to see to it 
that you do not accept teachings which contradict the teach- 
ing and practice of the Church. 

The priceless treasury of Catholic training, with its long 
tradition and outstanding teachers, has attached a well- 
deserved importance to problems affecting women. And look 
where you may, it would be hard to find anywhere else an 
ideal of womanhood so lofty and perfect as that which 
Christianity has frequently brought to full realisation in long 
lines of young girls, wives, mothers and widows who are the 
boast and true hope of our people. 

If your federation's teaching becomes a part of this solid 
tradition it will lay special stress on persuasion and example 
as means of imparting lessons in how to live. You are certainly 
in a better position than anyone else to know just how much 
many of your sisters need this. You can see the causes and 
remedies for that kind of weariness which is characteristic of 
the married life of the woman of today, and you are best able 
to decide how to inspire them with courage and perseverance 
in their daily struggles, and how to give them the strength 
they need to remain calm in the face of the many radical 
changes that take place at different periods of a woman's 
life. . . . 

You wish to bring women fully into the life of the nation 
as a beneficial "force" for the welfare of all. Although this 
linking of the notions of woman and of strength seems to be 
characteristic of modern times, it is well to remember that 
Christian tradition always preserved that description of the 
energetic, virtuous woman that we find in the sacred Book 
of .Proverbs. The sacred writer answers the question: "Who 
shall find a valiant woman?" by tracing out a living model, 
one which has often been recalled over the centuries. . . . 

For the women who take an active part in your movement, 
this force will consist principally in the attractive influence 
of your example. Without this, neither your programmes nor 


your schools will stir up any confidence in the ideal you 
proclaim or any enthusiasm for it. ... 

The force of this federation of women can best be shown 
by definite planned action in every field, even those of politics 
and law, and with the specific aim of making institutions, 
laws and customs pay some attention and respect to the 
special needs of women. It is quite true that modern States 
have taken long steps towards meeting the basic aims of 
women. But what we might call their psychological and 
emotional demands are still treated somewhat carelessly, as 
if they did not deserve serious consideration. . . . 

A woman's sensibilities play a great part in the life of a 
family and often actually determine its course, and these same 
sensibilities should play their part in the life of the nation 
and of mankind as a whole. There is no good reason why men 
alone should feel at home in questions that concern the whole 
family, even those affecting its psychological life. Specifically, 
if more attention were paid to the anxieties of feminine feel- 
ing, the work of consolidating peace would progress more 
rapidly; the nations well supplied with this world's goods 
would be more hospitable and more generous towards those 
in want; those who have charge of public property would 
often be more cautious in their business dealings, and organi- 
sations established to supply needs in the fields of housing, 
education, hospitals and employment would get more done 
and be more forward-looking. . . . 

That genteel respect which every man of refined upbring- 
ing shows towards women whenever he meets them ought to 
be put into practice by the civil laws and institutions of the 
nation as well. 

Part Two 

War and Peace 

6 G.F.L. 



Some six months after his election to the Papacy, Pope 
Pius XII was writing his first Encyclical Letter when a 
message was brought to him. 

He had written the sentence: "In the recognition of the 
royal prerogatives of Christ, and in the return of individuals 
and of society to the law of His truth and of His love lies the 
only way to salvation" 

But now: "Venerable Brethren, as we write these lines the 
terrible news comes to us that the dread tempest of war is 
already raging despite all our efforts to avert it." 

Encyclical letter from Castel Gandolfo, October 50, 1959: 

Before all else, it is certain that the radical and ultimate 
cause of the evils which we deplore in modern society is the 
denial and rejection of a universal norm of morality as well 
for individual and social life as for international relations. 
We mean the disregard, so common nowadays, and the for- 
getfulness of the Natural Law itself, which has its foundation 
in God, almighty Creator and Father of all, supreme and 
absolute Law-giver, all-wise and just Judge of human actions. 
When God is denied, every basis of morality is undermined; 
the voice of conscience is stilled or at any rate grows very 
faint, that voice which teaches even to the illiterate and to 
uncivilised tribes what is good and what is bad, what lawful, 
what forbidden, and makes men feel themselves responsible 
for their actions to a Supreme Judge. 

The denial of the fundamentals of morality had its origin 



in Europe in the abandonment of that Christian teaching o 
which the Chair o Peter is the depository and exponent. 
That teaching had once given spiritual cohesion to a Europe 
which, educated, ennobled and civilised by the Cross, had 
reached such a degree of civil progress as to become the 
teacher of other peoples, of other continents. But, cut off 
from the infallible teaching authority of the Church, not a 
few separated brethren have gone so far as to overthrow the 
central dogma of Christianity, the Divinity of the Saviour, 
and have hastened thereby the process of spiritual decay 

The moral values by which in other times public and 
private conduct was gauged have fallen into disuse; and the 
much-vaunted laicisation of society, which has made ever 
more rapid progress, withdrawing man, the family and the 
State from the beneficent and regenerating effects of the idea 
of God and the teaching of the Church, has caused to re- 
appear, in regions in which for many centuries shone the 
splendours of Christian civilisation, in a manner ever clearer, 
ever more distinct, ever more distressing, the signs of a cor- 
rupt and corrupting paganism: "There was darkness when 
they crucified Jesus." 

Many perhaps, while abandoning the teachings of Christ, 
were not fully conscious of being led astray by a mirage of 
glittering phrases which proclaimed such estrangements as an 
escape from the slavery in which they were previously held. 

They spoke of progress, when they were going back; of 
being raised, when they grovelled; of arriving at man's estate, 
when they stooped to servility. They did not perceive the in- 
ability of all human effort to replace the law of Christ by 
anything equal to it: "They became vain in their thoughts." 

With the weakening of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, 
and the darkening in men's minds of the light of moral 
principles, the indispensable foundation of the stability and 
quiet of that internal and external, private and public order 
which alone can support and safeguard the prosperity of 
States disappeared. 


It is true that even when Europe had a cohesion of brother- 
hood through identical ideals gathered from Christian 
preaching, she was not free from dissensions, convulsions and 
wars which laid her waste; but perhaps they never felt the 
intense pessimism of today as to the possibility of settling 
them, for they had then an effective moral sense of the just 
and the unjust, of the lawful and of the unlawful, which, by 
restraining outbreaks of passion, left the way open to an 
honourable settlement. In our days, on the contrary, dissen- 
sions come not only from the surge of rebellious passion but 
also from a deep spiritual crisis which has overthrown the 
sound principles of private and public morality. 

Among the many errors which derive from the poisoned 
source of religious and moral agnosticism we would draw 
your attention, Venerable Brethren, to two in particular as 
being those which more than others render the peaceful inter- 
course of peoples almost impossible, or at least precarious 
and uncertain. 

The first of these pernicious errors, widespread today, is 
the forgetfulness of that law of human solidarity and charity 
which is dictated and imposed by our common origin and by 
the equality of rational nature in all men, to whatever people 
they belong, and by the redeeming Sacrifice offered by Jesus 
Christ on the Altar of the Cross to His Heavenly Father on 
behalf of sinful mankind. 

In fact, the first page of the Scripture, with magnificent 
simplicity, tells us how God, as a culmination to His creative 
work, made man to His own image and likeness; and the 
same Scripture tells us that He enriched man with super- 
natural gifts and privileges, and destined him to an eternal 
and ineffable happiness. 

It shows us, besides, how other men took their origin from 
the first couple, and then goes on, in unsurpassed vividness 
of language, to recount their division into different groups, 
and their dispersion to various parts of the world. Even when 
they abandoned their Creator, God did not cease to regard 


them as His children who, according to His merciful plan, 
should one day be reunited once more in His friendship. 

The Apostle of the Gentiles later on makes himself the 
herald of this truth which associates men as brothers in one 
great family, when he proclaims to the Greek world that 
God "hath made of one all mankind, to dwell upon the whole 
face of the earth, determining appointed times, and the limits 
of their habitation, that they should seek God". A marvellous 
vision, which makes us see the human race in the unity of 
one common origin in God: "One God and Father of all, 
Who is above all, and through all, and in us all"; in the unity 
of nature which in every man is equally composed of material 
body and spiritual, immortal soul; in the unity of the imme- 
diate end and mission in the world; in the unity of dwelling 
place, the earth, of whose resources all men, by natural right, 
can avail themselves to sustain and develop life; in the unity 
of the supernatural end, God Himself, to Whom all should 
tend; in the unity of means to secure that end. 

It is the same Apostle who portrays for us mankind in the 
unity of its relations with the Son of God, Image of the in- 
visible God, in Whom all things have been created : " In Him 
were all things created"; in the unity of its ransom, effected 
for all by Christ, Who through His holy and most bitter 
Passion, restored the original friendship with God which had 
been broken, making Himself the Mediator between God and 
man: "For there is one God, and one Mediator of God and 
men, the Man, Jesus Christ/' 

And to render such friendship between God and mankind 
more intimate, this same Divine and universal Mediator of 
salvation and peace, in the sacred silence of the Supper Room, 
before He consummated the Supreme Sacrifice, let fall from 
His Divine lips the words which reverberate mightily down 
the centuries, inspiring heroic charity in a world devoid of 
love and torn by hate : "This is My commandment, that you 
love one another, as I have loved you." 

These are supernatural truths which form a solid basis and 


the strongest possible bond of a union that is reinforced by 
the love of God and our Divine Redeemer, from Whom all 
receive salvation "for the edifying of the Body of Christ: until 
we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge 
of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of 
the age of the fullness of ChrisL" 

In the light of this unity of all mankind which exists in 
law and in fact, individuals do not feel themselves isolated 
units, like grains of sand, but united by the very force of their 
nature and by their eternal destiny, into an organic, har- 
monious mutual relationship which varies with the changing 
of times. 

And the nations, despite a difference of development, due 
to diverse conditions of life and of culture, are not destined 
to break the unity of the human race but rather to enrich 
and embellish it by the sharing of their own particular gifts 
and by that reciprocal interchange of goods which can be 
possible and efficacious only when a mutual love and a lively 
sense of charity unite all the sons of the same Father and all 
those redeemed by the same Divine Blood. . . . 

Nor is there any fear lest the consciousness of universal 
brotherhood aroused by the teaching of Christianity and the 
spirit it inspires be in contrast with love of traditions or the 
glories of one's fatherland, or impede the progress of pros- 
perity or legitimate interests. For that same Christianity 
teaches that in the exercise of charity we must follow a God- 
given order, yielding the place of honour in our affections 
and good works to those who are bound to us by special ties. 
Nay, the Divine Master Himself gave an example of this 
preference for His own country and fatherland, as he wept 
over the coming destruction of the Holy City. 

But legitimate and well-ordered love of our native country 
should not make us close our eyes to the all-embracing nature 
of Christian charity, which calls for consideration of others 
and of their interests in the pacifying light of love. 


Such Is the marvellous doctrine of love and peace which 
has been such an ennobling factor in the civil and religious 
progress of mankind. . . . 
Allocution to the Sacred College of Cardinals, Christmas Eve, 1939: 

For four months now, and with anguish beyond words, we 
have gazed upon the ruins which this war, begun in such 
unusual circumstances, has been piling up. ... As the war- 
monster progressively acquires, swallows and demands more 
and more of the materials available, all of which are inexor- 
ably put at the disposal of its ever-increasing requirements, 
the greater becomes the danger that the nations directly or 
indirectly affected by the conflict will become the victims of 
a sort of pernicious anaemia and the question inevitably 
arises: how will an exhausted or attenuated economy con- 
trive to find the means necessary for economic and social 
reconstruction at a time when difficulties of every kind will 
be multiplied, difficulties of which the disruptive and revo- 
lutionary forces now holding themselves in readiness will not 
fail to take advantage in the hope of striking a decisive blow 
at Christian Europe? . . . 

Those who keep a watchful eye upon these future conse- 
quences, and calmly consider the symptoms in many parts of 
the world already pointing to such a development of events, 
will, we think, in spite of the war and its hard necessities, 
keep their minds open to the prospect of defining clearly, at 
an opportune moment and so far as it lies with them to do so, 
the fundamental points of a just and honourable peace; nor 
will they categorically refuse negotiations for such a peace 
in the event of a suitable occasion, with the needful guaran- 
tees and safeguards, presenting itself. 

i. A fundamental postulate of any just and honourable 
peace is an assurance for all nations, great or small, powerful 
or weak, of their right to life and independence. The will of 
one nation to live must never mean the sentence of death 
passed upon another. When this equality of rights has been 


destroyed, attacked or threatened, order demands that repara- 
tion shall be made and the measure and extent of that 
reparation is determined not by the sword nor by arbitrary 
decision of self-interest but by the rules of justice and recipro- 
cal equity. 

2. The order thus established, if it is to continue undis- 
turbed and ensure true peace, requires that the nations be 
delivered from the slavery imposed upon them by the race for 
armaments and from the danger that material force, instead 
of serving to protect right, may become an overbearing and 
tyrannical master. Any peaceful settlement that fails to give 
fundamental importance to a mutually agreed, organic and 
progressive disarmament, spiritual and material, or which 
neglects to ensure the effective and loyal implementing of 
such an agreement, will sooner or later show itself to be 
lacking in coherence and vitality. 

3. The maxims of human wisdom require that in any re- 
organisation of international life, all parties should learn a 
lesson from the failures and deficiencies of the past. Hence, 
in creating or reconstructing international institutions which 
have so high a mission and such difficult and grave responsi- 
bilities, it is important to bear in mind the experience gained 
from the ineffectiveness or imperfections of previous institu- 
tions of the kind. Human frailty makes it difficult, not to say 
impossible, to foresee every contingency and guard against 
every danger at the time when treaties are signed; passion 
and bitter feeling are apt to be still rife. Hence, in order that 
a peace may be honourably accepted and in order to avoid 
arbitrary breaches and unilateral interpretations of treaties, 
it is of the first importance to erect some juridical institution 
which shall guarantee the loyal and faithful fulfilment of the 
conditions agreed upon, and which shall, in the case of recog- 
nised need, revise and correct them. 

4. If a better European settlement is to be reached, there is 
one point in particular that should receive special attention: 
it is the real needs and the just demands of nations and 


populations, and of racial minorities. It may be that, in 
consequence of existing treaties incompatible with them, 
these demands are unable to establish a strictly legal right. 
Even so, they deserve to be examined in a friendly spirit with 
a view to meeting them by peaceful methods, and even, where 
it appears necessary, by means of an equitable and covenanted 
revision of the treaties themselves. If the balance between 
nations is thus adjusted and the foundation of mutual confi- 
dence thus laid, many incentives to violent action will be 

5. But even the best and most detailed regulations will be 
Imperfect and foredoomed to failure unless the peoples and 
those who govern them submit willingly to the influence of 
that spirit which alone can give life, authority and binding 
force to the dead letter of international agreements. They 
must develop that sense of deep and keen responsibility which 
measures and weighs human statutes according to the sacred 
and inviolable standards of the law of God; they must culti- 
vate that hunger and thirst after justice which is proclaimed 
as a beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount and which sup- 
poses as its natural foundation the moral virtue of justice; 
they must be guided by that universal love which is the 
compendium and most general expression of the Christian 
ideal, and which, therefore, may serve as a common ground 
also for those who have not the blessing of sharing the same 
Faith with us. 

We are not insensible of the grave difficulties which lie in 
the way of the achievement of these ends we have described as 
needful for establishing and preserving a just peace between 
nations. But if ever there was an objective deserving the 
collaboration of all noble and generous minds, if there was 
ever a spiritual crusade which might assume with a new truth 
as its motto, "God wills it", then it is this high purpose, it is 
this crusade enlisting all unselfish and great-hearted men in 
an endeavour to lead the nations back from the broken 


cisterns of material and selfish interests to the living fountain 
of Divine Justice, which alone is able to provide that morality, 
nobility and stability the need of which has been so long 
experienced, to the great detriment of nations and humanity. 

To these ideals, which are at the same time the real objec- 
tives of a true peace established in justice and love, we hope 
and trust that all those united with us in the bond of faith 
will keep open their minds and hearts; so that when the 
storm of war shows signs of abating there may arise in every 
nation men of foresight and goodwill, inspired with the 
courage that can suppress the base instinct of revenge and 
set up, in its stead, the grave and noble majesty of justice, 
sister of love and consort of true wisdom. . . , 

We, and with us, all those who hear our voice, know where 
to find the supreme Model, the inner principle and the sure 
promise of this justice. Transeamus usque Bethlehem et 
videamus: Let us go over to Bethlehem. There we shall find 
lying in the cradle Him Who is born "the Sun of Justice, 
Christ our Lord God", and at His side the Virgin Mother 
who is the "Mirror of Justice" and "Queen of Peace", with 
the holy Protector St. Joseph, "the just man". Jesus is the 
Expected of Nations. The prophets announced His coming 
and foretold His future triumphs: "His name shall be called 
Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the 
World to Come, the Prince of Peace!'. . . 

Allocution to the Sacred College of Cardinals, December 24, 1940 : 

Let us hope that mankind and each single nation may grow 
more mature out of its present tribulations, with eyes able 
to distinguish between the genuine and the fallacious, with 
an ear alert for the voice of reason, be it pleasant or un- 
pleasant, with a mind which, open to reality, is really deter- 
mined to fulfil the demands of life and justice, not only when 
its own demands are met but also when the equitable de- 
mands of others are heard. Only in such a state of mind does 


the tempting slogan of a new order acquire a beautiful, 

dignified and lasting conception based on moral principles 

The necessary premises for such a new order are as follows : 

1. Victory over the hatred which divides the nations today, 
and the disappearance of systems and actions which breed this 
hatred. In fact, in some countries an unbridled propaganda 
is to be seen; it does not recoil from methodical distortion 
of the truth in order to show the enemy nations in a falsified 
and vilifying light. He who, however, really wants the good 
of the people and wants to contribute to the future co-opera- 
tion of nations and to preserve this co-operation from incal- 
culable damage will consider it as his sacred duty to uphold 
the natural ideals of truth, justice and charity. 

2. Victory over distrust which exerts a paralysing pressure 
upon international law and makes all honest understanding 
impossible. Therefore, return to the principle of mutual 
trust. Return to the loyalty for treaties without which the 
secure co-operation of nations and, especially, the living side 
by side of strong and weak nations, are inconceivable. The 
foundation of justice is loyalty, reliability and truth of the 
pledged word and of the understanding that has been reached. 

3. Victory over the dismal principle that utility is the foun- 
dation and aim of law, and that might can create right. This 
principle is bound to upset all international relations, and is 
unacceptable to all weaker nations. Therefore, return to 
honest, serious and moral international relations. 

4. Victory over those potential conflicts arising out of the 
unbalanced state of world economy. Therefore, a new 
economic order has to be gradually evolved which gives all 
nations the means to secure for their citizens an appropriate 
standard of life. 

5. Victory over the kind of selfishness which, relying on its 
own power, aims at impairing the honour and sovereignty of 
nations, as well as the sound, just and ordered liberty of 



Radio address on "Divine Providence in Human Events", June 29, 

We, like you, feel our heart grow faint at the thought of the 
tempest of evil, of suffering and of anguish that now rages 
over the world. It is true that in the darkness of the storm 
there are not lacking comforting sights which fill our hearts 
with great and holy expectations courage in defence of the 
fundamentals of Christian civilisation and confident hope in 
their triumph; the most intrepid patriotism; heroic acts of 
virtue; chosen souls ready for every sacrifice; whole-hearted 
self-surrender; widespread re-awakening of faith and piety. 

But, on the other hand, sin and evil penetrate the lives of 
individuals, the sacred shrine of the family, the social 
organism. No longer merely tolerated through weakness or 
ignorance, sin is excused, exalted and enters as master into 
the most diverse phases of human life. There is a decadence 
of the spirit of justice and charity. Peoples are overthrown 
or have fallen into an abyss of disasters. Human bodies are 
torn by bombs or by machine-gun fire. Wounded and sick 
fill hospitals and come out often with their health ruined, 
their limbs mutilated, invalids for the rest of their lives. 
Prisoners are far from those dear to them and often without 
news of them. Individuals and families are deported, trans- 
ported, separated, torn from their homes, wandering in 
misery without support, without means of earning their daily 
bread. . . . 

Before such an accumulation of evils, of obstacles to virtue, 



of disasters, of trials of every kind, it seems that man's mind 
and judgment go astray and become confused; and perhaps 
in the heart of more than one of you has arisen the terrible 
suggestion of doubt which perchance at the death of the two 
Apostles was a disturbing temptation for some of the less 
staunch Christians: "How can God permit all this?" Can an 
omnipotent God, infinitely wise and infinitely good, possibly 
allow so many evils which He might so easily prevent? And 
there arise to the lips the words of Peter, still imperfect when 
the Passion was foretold: "Far be it from Thee, O Lord" 

No, my God they think neither Your wisdom nor Your 
goodness nor Your honour itself can allow that evil and 
violence dominate to such an extent over the world, to deride 
You and triumph by Your silence. Where is Your power and 
providence? Must we, then, doubt either Your divine govern- 
ment or Your love for us? ... 

All men are as children before God; all, even the most 
profound thinkers and the most experienced leaders of 

They judge events with the foreshortened vision of time, 
which passes and flies past irretrievably. God, on the other 
hand, sees events from on high, from the unmoved centre of 
eternity. They have before their eyes the limited view of a 
few years. God has before Him the all-embracing panorama 
of the ages. They think of human events in relation to their 
proximate causes and immediate effects. God sees them in 
their remote causes and judges them in their remote effects. 
They stop to single out this or that particular responsible 
hand. God sees a whole hidden complicated convergence of 
responsibilities, because His exalted Providence does not 
exclude the free choice of evil and good in human selection. 

They would have immediate justice, and are scandalised 
at the ephemeral power of the enemies of God, the sufferings 
and humiliations of the innocent permitted by God. But our 
Heavenly Father, Who in the light of His eternity embraces, 
penetrates and dominates the vicissitudes of time as much as 


the serene peace of the endless ages; God, Who is the Blessed 
Trinity, full of compassion for the weaknesses, ignorance and 
impatience of men, but Who loves men too much for their 
faults to turn Him from the ways of His wisdom and love, 
continues, and will continue, to make His sun to rise on the 
good and the evil, and to send rain on the just and the unjust; 
to guide their childlike steps with firmness and kindness if 
only they will let themselves be led by Him and have trust 
in the power and the wisdom of His love for them. 

What does it mean to trust in God? 

Trust in God means the abandonment of oneself, with all 
the forces of the will sustained by grace and love, in spite of 
all the doubts suggested by appearances to the contrary, to 
the wisdom, the infinite love of God. It means believing that 
nothing in this world escapes His Providence, whether in the 
universal or in the particular order; that nothing great or 
small happens which is not foreseen, willed or permitted, 
directed always by Providence to its exalted ends, which in 
this world are always inspired by love for men. 

It means believing that God can permit, at times here 
below, for some time, pre-eminence of atheism and of im- 
piety, the lamentable obscuring of a sense of justice, the 
violation of law, the tormenting of innocent, peaceful, un- 
defended, helpless men. It means believing that God at times 
thus lets trials befall individuals and peoples, trials of which 
the malice of men is the instrument in a design of justice 
directed towards the punishment of sin, towards purifying 
persons and peoples through the expiations of this present 
life and bringing them back by this way to Himself; but it 
means believing at the same time that this justice always 
remains here below the justice of a Father inspired and domi- 
nated by love. 

However severe may seem the Hand of the Divine Surgeon 
when he cuts with the lancet into the live flesh, it is always 
an active love that guides and drives it in, and only the good 


of men and peoples makes Him intervene in such a painful 

It means, finally, believing that the fierce intensity of the 
trial, like the triumph of evil, will endure here below for 
only a fixed time and not longer; that the hour of God will 
come, the hour of mercy, the hour of holy rejoicing, the hour 
of the new canticle of liberation, the hour of exultation and 
of joy, the hour in which, after having let the hurricane loose 
for a moment upon humanity, the all-powerful Hand of the 
Heavenly Father, with an imperceptible motion, will detain 
it and disperse it, and, by ways little known to the mind or 
to the hopes of men, justice, calm and peace will be restored 
to the nations. 

We know well that the most serious difficulty for those who 
have not a correct sense of the Divine comes from seeing so 
many innocent victims Involved in suffering by the same 
tempest which overwhelms sinners. Men never remain in- 
different when the hurricane which tears up the great trees 
also cuts down the lowly little flowers which opened at their 
feet only to lavish the grace of their beauty and fragrance on 
the air around them. And yet these flowers and their per- 
fumes are the work of God and of His wonderful designing. 
If he has allowed any of these flowers to be swept away in the 
storm, can He not, do you think, have assigned a goal unseen 
by the human eye for the sacrifice of that most unoffending 
creature in the general arrangement of the law by which He 
prevails over and governs nature? How much more, then, 
will His omnipotence and love direct the lot of pure and 
innocent human beings to good. 

Through the languishing of faith in men's hearts, through 
the pleasure-seeking that moulds and captivates their lives, 
men are driven to judge as evil, and as unmixed evil, all the 
physical mishaps of this earth. They have forgotten that 
suffering stands at the threshold of life as the way that leads 
to the smiles of the cradle. They have forgotten that it is 
more often than not the shadow of the Cross of Calvary 


thrown on the path of the Resurrection; they have forgotten 
that the cross is frequently a gift of God, a gift which is 
needed in order to offer to the Divine Justice our share of 
expiation. They have forgotten that the only real evil is the 
sin that offends God. They have forgotten what the Apostle 
says: "The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to 
be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in 
us", that we ought to look on "the Author and Finisher of 
Faith, Jesus, Who for the joy set before Him, endured a 

Do you, too, dear children, look upon your sufferings thus, 
and you will find the strength not merely to accept them with 
resignation, but to love them, to glory in them as the Apostles 
and saints. . . . 

Look upon your sufferings and difficulties in the light of 
the sufferings of the Crucified, in the light of the sufferings 
of the Blessed Virgin, the most innocent of creatures and the 
most intimate sharer in the Passion of Our Lord, and you 
will be able to understand that to be like the Exemplar, the 
Son of God, King of Sufferings, is the noblest and safest way 
to Heaven and victory. 

7 G.F.L. 


Christmas message, broadcast December 24, 1948: 

... At no time since the fighting ceased have men's minds 
been so tense, so oppressed as they are today, by the nightmare 
of a new war, and by disquiet about the peace. They move 
between two opposite poles. Some quote the old saying not 
entirely false but open to misunderstanding and so often 
abused: "Si vis pacem, para bellum": If you wish for peace, 
make ready for war. Others think there is salvation in the 
phrase "Peace at any price". 

Both parties wish for peace but both put it in jeopardy 
the former because they arouse distrust, the latter because 
they foster the sense of security in those who prepare aggres- 
sion. Hence both compromise the cause of peace without 
intending to do so, and that at the very time when mankind, 
crushed beneath the burden of armaments, tormented by the 
sight of new and worse conflicts to come, trembles at the very 
thought of a possible catastrophe. 

Therefore we would set forth in a few words the marks of 
a true Christian will for peace. 

i. The Christian will for peace comes from God. "He is the 
God of Peace/' He created the world to be an abode of peace, 
and gave His commandment of peace of that "tranquillity of 
order 1 ' of which St. Augustine speaks. 

The Christian will for peace has its own weapons. The 
chief of these are prayer and charity constant prayer to our 
Heavenly Father, Father of us all; brotherly love between all 
men and all peoples as being all sons of the same Father 



Who Is in Heaven, that love which, with patience, always 
succeeds in coming to understanding and agreement with all. 
These two weapons come from God, and where they are 
lacking, where men know only how to handle material 
weapons, there cannot be a true will for peace, seeing that 
such merely material arms must needs arouse distrust and 
bring about what we may call a war-climate. Who, then, does 
not see how important it is for the peoples to preserve and 
strengthen Christian life, and how heavy is their responsi- 
bility in choosing and keeping a watchful eye upon those to 
whom they have entrusted the direct management of 

2. The Christian will for peace is easily recognisable. 
Obedient to the Divine command of peace, it never makes a 
question of national standing or national honour a case of 
war or even of a threat of war. It shrinks from prosecuting 
with armed force a claim to rights which, however well 
warranted, do not balance the risk of kindling a blaze fearful 
in its spiritual and material consequences. 

Here we see no less clearly the responsibility of the peoples 
in the capital problem of the education of youth, the forming 
of public opinion, which modern methods and instruments 
make so sensitive and so changeful in every field of national 
life. Now this activity ought to be employed diligently in 
order to strengthen the solidarity of all the States in the 
defence of peace. Any one of them that violates justice should 
be set apart in an isolation of disgrace, as a disturber of the 
peace, and banished from civilised society. 

May the organisation of the United Nations be able to 
become the full and genuine expression of this international 
solidarity of peace, removing from its institutions and its 
statutes every trace of its origin, which of necessity was a 
solidarity of war. 

3. The Christian will for peace is practical and realistic. 
Its immediate purpose is to remove, or at least to lessen, the 


causes of friction that both morally and materially increase 
the danger of war. 

These causes are, amongst others, chiefly the relative con- 
striction of the national land space and the dearth of raw 
materials. Instead, therefore, of sending food at very great 
expense to refugee populations, crowded together as best they 
can be in some particular place, why not encourage the emi- 
gration and immigration of families, guiding them to those 
regions where they will most easily find the means of liveli- 
hood of which they stand in need? And instead of restricting 
production, often without any just motive, why not leave 
them the opportunity of producing according to their normal 
capacity? Thus they would win their daily bread as the fruit 
of their industry rather than receive it as a gift. 

Lastly, instead of raising barriers to hinder mutual access 
to raw materials, why not free the use and exchange of these 
from all needless restrictions, those especially which bring 
about a harmful inequality in economic conditions? 

4. The true Christian will for peace is strength, not weak- 
ness or weary resignation. It is altogether at one with the will 
for peace of the Eternal and Almighty God. 

Every war of aggression against any ordinance which God 
gives to man in the interests of peace and bids him respect 
and endorse, preserve and defend, is a sin and a crime. It is an 
attack upon the Majesty of God, the Creator and Orderer of 
the World. If any people threatened with, or already the vic- 
tim of, an unjust aggression be minded to think and act in a 
Christian way, it cannot remain in a passive indifference. All 
the more does the solidarity of the family of peoples forbid 
the other members to behave like simple onlookers in an 
attitude of unconcerned neutrality. 

Who can ever measure the harm done in the past by such 
indifference, so far removed from Christian feeling, towards 
aggressive wars? How pointedly it has given proof of the lack 
of security among the "great" and, above all, among the 
'little". Has it, on the other hand, brought any advantage at 


all? On the contrary, It has only reassured and encouraged 
the authors and favourers of aggression, by forcing single 
peoples, abandoned to themselves, to a necessary and in- 
definite increase of their armaments. 

Resting upon God and upon the order established by Him, 
the Christian will for peace is, accordingly, strong as steel. It 
is of a temper very different from the mere humanitarian 
sentiment, too often nothing but a sensitiveness which detests 
war only because of its horrors and atrocities, its havoc and 
its dire results, but not also because of its injustice. 

In such a sentiment, hedonistic and utilitarian in character, 
and materialistic in origin, there is wanting the firm founda- 
tion of a strict and unconditional obligation. It forms the 
kind of soul in which the empty sham of compromise takes 
root, the attempt to save oneself at the cost of others, and in 
every case the success of the aggressor. 

So true is this that neither the consideration of the sorrows 
and evils following from war, by itself, nor the exact balancing 
of action and advantage, suffice for a final decision whether it 
is morally lawful or, in a given concrete case, morally bind- 
ing, to resist the aggressor (supposing always a well-founded 
likelihood of success). 

One thing is certain: the precept of peace is of Divine 
right. Its end is the protection of things that constitute the 
good of mankind, in so far as it is the good of the Creator. 
Now among these are some so important for human society 
that their defence against unjust aggression is beyond question 
fully lawful. The United Nations as a body are bound to 
defend them, having the duty not to forsake the nation 


Christmas message, broadcast December 24, 1951 : 

We are forced to recognise that the world is split into 
two rival camps and that men are divided into two clearly 
separated groups which, consequently, are very loath to admit 
the freedom of anyone to maintain a position of political 

Now those who wrongly consider the Church as an earthly 
power or a kind of world empire are easily led to ask from 
her also, as from others, that she renounce her neutrality and 
make a clear choice in favour of one side or the other. How- 
ever, there can be no question of the Church's renouncing 
her political neutrality, for the simple reason that she cannot 
serve purely political aims. 

Let it not be thought that this is a mere play upon words 
or thoughts. . . . The Divine Redeemer founded the Church 
in order to give all men, through her, His truth and His grace 
unto the end of time. The Church is His Mystical Body. She 
belongs altogether to Christ, as Christ belongs to God. 

Statesmen and, at times, even churchmen, who would 
make the Spouse of Christ their ally or the tool of their 
political alliances, whether national or international, do 
injury to the very essence of the Church and would inflict 
damage upon the life proper to her. In a word, they would 
drag her down to that level where conflicting temporal 
interests are locked in struggle. And this is and remains true 
even when there is question of ends and interests in them- 
selves lawful. 



Whoever, then, would wish to turn the Church away from 
her supposed neutrality, or bring pressure to bear upon her 
in the question of peace, or lessen her right freely to de- 
termine whether, when or how she may wish to come to a 
decision in the various conflicts, such a one would not make 
it easier for the Church to co-operate in the work of peace. 
For no decision on the Church's part, even in political 
questions, can ever be purely political. It must always be 
sub specie aeternitatis, in the light of the Divine Law, and of 
its order, its values, its standards. 

It is not rare to see purely temporal powers and institu- 
tions abandon their neutrality and be in one camp today and 
another tomorrow. It is a game of alliances which can be ex- 
plained by a constant shifting of temporal interest. 

The Church keeps herself aloof from such unstable 
alliances. If she passes judgment, that does not mean that 
she is thereby abandoning a neutrality hitherto observed; 
for God is never neutral towards human historical events; 
neither, then, can His Church be neutral. If she speaks and 
judges the problems of the day, it is with the clear knowledge 
that in the power of the Holy Spirit she gives, in advance, the 
sentence which, at the end of time, her Lord and Head, Judge 
of the universe, will confirm and sanction. 

Such is the proper and superhuman function of the Church 
regarding political questions. What, then, is the meaning of 
empty talk about a neutrality which the Church should 

Others, on the contrary, say that in the interests of peace 
the Church must be neutral. But neither have these a correct 
idea of the Church's place in the great events of world history. 
She cannot come down from the lofty supernatural sphere 
where political neutrality has no meaning in the sense in 
which this is understood by earthly powers. Yet this does not 
exclude, but rather increases, her share in the toils and suffer- 
ings of her members in either camp, and intensifies her grief 
at the clash of opinions and policies within her own ranks. 


The Church cannot agree to judge according to exclusively 
political standards. Nor can she tie the interests of religion to 
particular programmes of a merely earthly character. She 
cannot run the risk of giving any reason for doubt about 
her religious mission. She cannot forget for an instant that her 
role of representative of God upon earth does not suffer her 
to remain indifferent, even for a single moment, between 
"good" and "evil" in human affairs. If that were asked of her, 
she would have to refuse, and the faithful on both sides would, 
in virtue of their supernatural faith and hope, have to under- 
stand and respect the stand taken by the Church. 

What contribution can and should the Church make to 
the cause of peace? 

This contribution cannot be purely political, and the 
normal place and essential mission of the Church is not in 
the area where nations, friendly, antagonistic or neutral, con- 
tinually meet and give voice to their ideas and concrete 
political projects. 

What, then, should be her contribution to the peace? 
What is the legal right; what the peculiar nature of this 

The legal right? Look at the Crib of Bethlehem. Nowhere 
will you find it as clear and, one may say, as tangible. The 
Babe there is the eternal Son of God made man, and His 
name is Princeps Pads, Prince of Peace. Prince and Founder 
of Peace such is the character of the Saviour and Redeemer 
of the whole human race. His sublime Divine mission is to 
establish peace between each man and God, between men 
themselves and between peoples. 

This mission, however, and this desire for peace are not 
born of faintheartedness and weakness, which can meet evil 
and the wicked only with resignation and patience. Even 
beneath the frailty of the Babe of Bethlehem is hidden 
majesty and might, which only love restrains, in order to 
make the hearts of men capable of begetting and fostering 


peace, and it gives them the strength to overcome and scatter 
all the forces that might destroy it. 

But the Divine Saviour is also the invisible Head of the 
Church, and for that reason His mission of peace lives on and 
is active in the Church. 

Every year, with the renewed memory of Christ's birth, is 
strengthened in her the deep consciousness of her title to 
contribute to the work of peace, a unique title which rides 
above every earthly interest and stems immediately from 
God. For it is an essential element of her nature and of her 
religious power. 

This year, once again, the Church kneels before the Crib 
and receives her mission from the Divine Infant, the Prince 
of Peace. Here, in Him, she sees revealed true human 
nature, true in the fullest sense of the word, for it is the very 
human nature of God, her Creator, her Redeemer, her 

With eyes tenderly fixed upon the face of the infinitely 
lovable Prince of Peace, she listens to the heart beat which 
tells of a love embracing all mankind, and she glows with 
ardent zeal for this mission of her Lord and Chief, which is 
as is her own, the mission of peacemaker 

But when the Church and her supreme Shepherd pass from 
this tender intimacy of the Babe of Bethlehem, so peaceful 
and heartening, into a world that is far from Christ, it is like 
stepping out into a gust of frosty air. That world talks of 
nothing but peace; but it has no peace. It claims for itself all 
possible and impossible legal titles to establish peace, yet does 
not know nor recognise the mission of peacemaker that comes 
directly from God, the mission of peace that has its source in 
the religious authority of the Church. 

Poor short-sighted men, whose narrow field of vision does 
not reach beyond the possibilities of the present hour, beyond 
statistics of military and economic potential 1 How can they 
form the slightest idea of the worth and importance of re- 
ligion's authority for the solution of the peace problem? 


Shallow minds, unable to see in all their reality and fullness 
the value and creative power in Christianity, how can they 
help being sceptical and disdainful of the power of the 
Church for peace? 

But others, who, please God, are the majority, will see 
with greater or lesser awareness that denying to the religious 
authority of the Church her competence in effective action 
for peace has but made the tragic condition of the troubled 
world more desperate still. 

Many have fallen away from Christian belief, and this has 
hastened an extreme and almost intolerable state of affairs. 
One would say that God has answered this rejection of Christ 
by the plague of an abiding threat to peace and the frighten- 
ing spectre of war. 

As the Church's right to work for peace is unique, so is the 
work of her efforts to foster and maintain it. 

The Church is not a political but a religious society. That, 
however, does not prevent her from establishing not merely 
external but internal and vital relations with States. The 
Church has in fact been founded by Christ as a visible society, 
and as such meets States in the same territory, has in her care 
the same people, and in many ways and under different 
aspects makes use of the same means and the same institu- 
tions. And since the Church and the States live together, 
besides these external and what might be called natural re- 
lations, there are others, interior and vital relations, which 
have their basis and origin in the Person of Jesus Christ as 
Head of the Church. For the Son of God, by becoming man, 
and truly man, has by that very fact entered into a new re- 
lationship, and a real and vital relationship, with human 
society, with human nature. This is true whether we consider 
human nature as a single unit implying equal personal dignity 
in all men, or human nature as found in many Individual 
societies, especially those societies which, within this very 
intimate unity of human nature, are necessary to produce 


external order and sound organisation, and bring them to 

We are thinking now primarily o the family and the State, 
as well as of the Society of States, since the common good, the 
essential purpose of every State, cannot be attained or even 
imagined without this intrinsic relation of the States to man- 
kind as a whole. Under this aspect, the union of States is by 
nature unbreakable. It is a fact that is imposed upon them. 
In accepting it, although at times hesitantly, they answer the 
call of nature. This natural union they strive to embody in 
an external framework an organisation. 

As human experience teaches, therefore, the State and the 
Society of States with its external organisation, in spite of all 
their defects, are given the social nature of man natural 
forms of union and order among men; they are necessary for 
human life; they contribute to its perfection. Their very 
concept involves quiet order, that "tranquillity of order" 
which St. Augustine gives as a definition of peace. These 
societies, of their very essence, exist for peace. 

With them, as societies that exist for maintaining peace, 
Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and with Him the Church, 
in whom He continues to live has entered into a new and 
intimate relationship which uplifts and strengthens society. 
This is the basis of the peculiar contribution which the 
Church, by her very nature, makes to the cause of peace, that 
is, when her life and her action among men occupy their 
rightful place. 

And how will this all come about except through the con- 
tinuous, enlightening and strengthening action of the grace 
of Christ upon the minds and hearts of citizens and states- 
men, so that in all human relationships they recognise and 
pursue the purposes of the Creator; that they strive to enlist 
the aid and partnerships of individuals and nations to achieve 
these purposes; that within their own borders as well as 
among the nations they practise social justice and charity? 

If men, obeying the Divine behest, will tread that sure way 


of salvation, a perfect Christian order in the world, they will 
soon see the possibility of even a just war disappear. For; once 
the activity of the Society of States, as a genuine organisation 
for peace, is made secure, there will be no reason for such a 

It will be objected . . . that if we say that peace cannot be 
defended except by a return to the eternal values of the indi- 
vidual person and of mankind, we thus only encourage the 
cynicism of the sceptics and deepen the discouragement of 
the friends of peace. Finally, we shall be reproached with 
admitting that those are right who see in an "armed peace" 
the definitive and last word on the subject, a solution that 
would deplete the economic forces and exhaust the nerves of 
the nations of the world. 

Nevertheless, as a practical as well as a theoretical estimate 
of the contribution each one can make to the cause of peace, 
especially the Church, even in unfavourable circumstances 
and in spite of the sceptics and pessimists, we think it abso- 
lutely necessary to fix our view upon the Christian order, lost 
sight of by so many today, so that we may see the crux of the 
problem now before us. 

In the first place, such a survey should convince any im- 
partial observer that the heart of the problem of peace is now 
of a spiritual order : the problem arises from a spiritual lack, 
a spiritual need. Too rare in the world today is a deeply 
Christian sense of values; too few are the true and perfect 
Christians. So it is that men themselves set obstacles that 
stand in the way of the order willed by God. 

Everyone must be convinced of this spiritual element in- 
herent in the danger of war. To awaken that conviction is, 
in the first place, the duty of the Church. That is her primary 
contribution to the peace today. 

We, too more than anyone else deplore the monstrous 
cruelty of modern weapons. We deplore them and do not 
cease to pray that they may never be employed. But, on the 
other hand, is it not perhaps a kind of practical materialism 


and superficial sentimentality to make the existence and 
threat of these weapons the sole and principal consideration 
in the question of peace, while no attention is paid to the 
absence of that Christian order which is the true guarantee 
of peace? 

Hence, other reasons apart, arise the differences of opinion 
and also the mistaken statements concerning the lawfulness 
and unlawfulness of modern warfare; hence, likewise, the 
illusion of statesmen who count too much upon the existence 
or disappearance of these weapons. The terror they inspire 
begins in the long run to lose its effect, just like any other 
cause of terror; or to say the least, it would not suffice, if the 
occasion should arise, to prevent the outbreak of a war, 
especially in those countries where the voice of the citizen 
has not sufficient influence in the decisions of his government. 

On the other hand, disarmament that is to say, when all 
agree to reduce armaments at the same time, which we have 
always desired and begged for is an unstable guarantee of 
lasting peace if it be not accompanied by the abolition of the 
weapons of hate, of avarice and of overweening lust for 

In other words, whoever links too closely the question of 
material weapons with that of peace is guilty of overlooking 
the primary and spiritual element in all danger of war. He 
does not look beyond figures, and, besides, his calculations 
are necessarily limited to the moment when the conflict 
threatens to break out. A friend of peace, he will always 
arrive too late to save it. 

If the desire to prevent war is to be truly effective, above 
all a remedy must be sought for the spiritual anaemia of 
nations, for the ignorance of individual responsibility before 
God and man, and for the want of a Christian order which 
alone is able to guarantee peace. To this goal the resources of 
the Church are now directed. 

But here the Church is faced with a particular difficulty 
which is due to present social conditions; her exhortation in 


favour of the Christian order as the principal factor in 
securing peace is at the same time an encouragement to those 
who would form a right idea of true freedom. The ultimate 
reason is that the Christian order, its purpose being peace, is 
essentially an order of freedom. It is the co-operative effort 
of free men and peoples towards the progressive realisation, 
in all spheres of life, of the ends which God has assigned to 
men. It is, however, sad to relate that today true freedom is 
not esteemed, or no longer possessed. In these circumstances, 
friendly partnership, as the proper condition of peace, is 
made spineless and anaemic within, while it is exposed to 
perils without at every moment. 

How, for example, can those who in the economic or social 
field would make everything depend upon society, even the 
direction and security of their own existence, or those who 
today look for their sole daily spiritual nourishment less and 
less from themselves that is to say, from their personal con- 
viction and knowledge and more and more from the diet 
prepared in advance by the press, radio, cinema and tele- 
vision how can they have a true idea of freedom, how can 
they esteem and desire it, if it no longer has a place in their 

Why, they are no more than mere cogs in this or that social 
organisation. They are no longer free men capable of accept- 
ing a responsible role in public affairs. Therefore, if today 
they cry "No more war! " what trust can be placed in them? 
In fact, it is not their own voice but the anonymous voice of 
the social group to which they happen to belong. 

This is the sad state of affairs which, moreover, hampers 
the Church in her efforts for peace and in her plans for the 
realisation of true human freedom which, as Christians hold, 
is the indispensable element of the social order, considered as 
the organism of peace. In vain would she multiply her invita- 
tions to men devoid of this realisation, and still more uselessly 
would she appeal to a society which has been reduced to sheer 


Such, however, is the widespread weakness of a world 
which dearly loves to call itself "the free world". It deceives 
itself, or else it does not understand itself. Its strength is not 
based upon true freedom. 

This is a new danger which threatens the peace and which, 
in the light of Christian social order, we must deprecate. It is 
because of this that not a few highly placed persons in what 
is called "the free world" are hostile to the Church, that 
importunate preacher of something which others pretend to 
have but have not, and which, by strange topsy-turvy think- 
ing, they unjustly say that the Church has not. We mean 
respect and esteem for genuine freedom. 

However, the Church's invitation meets an even colder 
welcome from the opposite camp. Here indeed, it is claimed, 
true freedom reigns, because social life does not depend upon 
that uncertain figment of the imagination, the autonomous 
individual, nor does it make public order as indifferent as 
can be to values that are called absolute. On the contrary, 
everything is strictly bound up with and guided towards the 
existence and development of a defined collectivism. 

However, the results of the system of which we speak have 
not been happy, nor has the work of the Church become 
easier, for here the true concept of freedom and personal 
responsibility is defended still less. How could it be other- 
wise, when God is not sovereign, when social life and activity 
do not gravitate towards Him, nor have their centre in Him? 
Society is nothing but a mighty machine whose order is seen 
only because there no longer exists the order of life, of the 
spirit, of freedom, of peace. Its activity, like that of a machine, 
is material, and destroys human dignity and freedom. 

In such a society the Church's contribution to peace and 
her counsels of genuine order in real freedom are given 
in very difficult circumstances. However, the alleged absolute 
social values are capable of inspiring enthusiasm in youth at 
a critical age, while not rarely the youth of the opposing side, 
prematurely disillusioned by bitter experience, have become 


weary, sceptical, Incapable of taking any Interest in public 
and social life. 

Peace, as we have said, cannot be assured unless God 
reigns in the ordered universe He has established, in the 
duly organised society of nations in which each nation brings 
peace among free men and their families within its borders 
and with other nations outside; an order guaranteed by the 
Church according to her office and in her own field of 


For well over 100 years Popes have been condemning and 
warning the nations against atheistic Communism, and that 
extreme kind of materialistic Socialism which provides 
Communists with their fellow-travellers. 

Even two years before the Communist Manifesto of 1848, 
which declared that "the history of all hitherto existing 
society is the history of class struggles", Pope Pius IX 
solemnly condemned "that infamous doctrine of so-called 
Communism which is absolutely contrary to the natural law 
itself, and once adopted would utterly destroy the rights, 
property and possessions of all men and even society itself. 

On a number of occasions Pope Pius XII warned Catholics 
that it is a mortal sin to vote in elections for candidates of the 
Communist Party; and in July, 1949, His Holiness approved 
a decree of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy 
Office which declared that Catholics who profess and particu- 
larly those who- defend and spread the materialistic and 
anti-Christian doctrine of the Communists, ipso facto, as 
apostates from the Catholic Faith, incur excommunication 
specially reserved to the Holy See. 

Christmas message to the world, broadcast December 24, 1945 : 

The origin and the primary scope of social life is the con- 
servation, development and perfection of the human person, 
helping him to realise accurately the demands and values of 
religion and culture set by the Creator for every man and for 

8 G.F.L 1 13 


all mankind, both as a whole and In its natural ramifications. 
A social teaching or a social reconstruction programme which 
denies or prescinds from this internal essential relation to 
God o everything that regards man is on a false course; and 
while it builds up with one hand, it prepares with the other 
the materials which sooner or later will undermine and 
destroy the whole fabric. 

And when it disregards the respect due to the human 
person and to the life which is proper to that person, and 
gives no thought to it in its organisation, in legislative and 
executive activity, then, instead of serving society, it harms 
it; instead of encouraging and stimulating social thought, 
instead of realising its hopes and expectations, it strips it of 
all real value and reduces it to a utilitarian formula which is 
openly rejected by constantly increasing groups. . . . 

The Church, always moved by religious motives, has con- 
demned the various forms of Marxist Socialism, and she 
condemns them today, because it is her permanent right and 
duty to safeguard mankind from currents of thought and 
influences that jeopardise its eternal salvation. 

But the Church cannot ignore or overlook the fact that the 
worker, in his efforts to better his lot, is opposed by a 
machinery which is not only not in accordance with nature 
but is at variance with God's plan and with the purpose He 
had in creating the goods of the earth. In spite of the fact that 
the ways they followed were and are false and to be con- 
demned, what man, and especially what priest or Christian, 
could remain deaf to the cries that rise from the depths and 
call for justice and a spirit of brotherly collaboration in a 
world ruled by a just God? Such silence would be culpable 
and unjustifiable before God, and contrary to the inspired 
teaching of the Apostle who, while he inculcates the need of 
resolution in the fight against error, also knows that we must 
be full of sympathy for those who err, and open-minded in 
our understanding of their aspirations, hopes and motives. . . . 


Christinas message to the world, December 24, 1955 : 

We reject Communism as a social system by virtue of 
Christ's doctrine, and we have a particular obligation to pro- 
claim the fundamental principles of natural law. For the same 
reason we likewise reject the opinion that the Christian ought 
today to see Communism as a phenomenon or a stage in the 
course of history, almost a necessary point in its evolution, 
and consequently to accept it as if it were decreed by Divine 

But at the same time we again warn Christians of the 
Industrial Age, in the spirit of our immediate predecessors in 
the supreme pastoral and teaching office, against being satis- 
fied with an anti-Communism founded upon slogan and upon 
the defence of a liberty devoid of content. Rather, we urge 
them to build up a society in which man's security rests upon 
that moral order the necessity and implications of which we 
have often set forth, looking as it does to true human nature. 

Now Christians, to whom we address ourself more particu- 
larly here, ought to know better than others that the Son of 
God become Man is the one steadfast support of the human 
race in the social and historical orders as well, and that He, 
by taking to Himself human nature, has borne witness to its 
dignity as the basis and rule of that moral order. 

It is therefore their primary duty to act with a view to 
bringing about the return of modern society structurally to 
the wellsprings sanctified by the Word of God made flesh. If 
ever Christians were to neglect this duty of theirs by leaving 
inactive, in so far as it lies with them, the guiding force of 
faith in public life, they would be committing treason against 
the God-Man Who appeared in visible form amongst us in 
the crib of Bethlehem. 

Encyclical letter on the Pilgrimage to Lourdes, July 2, 1957 : 

... The world, which today affords so many justifiable 
reasons for pride and hope, is also undergoing a terrible 


temptation to materialism, which has been denounced by our 
predecessors and ourself on many occasions. 

This materialism is not confined to that condemned philo- 
sophy which dictates the policies and economy of a large 
segment of mankind. It rages also in a love of money which 
creates ever greater havoc as modern enterprises expand, and 
which, unfortunately, determines many of the decisions that 
weigh heavy upon the life of the people. 

It finds expression in the cult of the body, in excessive 
desire for comforts, and in flight from all the austerities of 

It encourages scorn for human life, even for life which is 
destroyed before seeing the light of day. 

This materialism is present in the unrestrained search for 
pleasure, which flaunts itself shamelessly, and even tries, 
through reading material and entertainments, to seduce souls 
which are still pure. 

It shows itself in lack of interest in one's brother, in selfish- 
ness which crushes him, in injustice which deprives him of 
his rights in a word, In that concept of life which regulates 
everything exclusively in terms of material prosperity and 
earthly satisfactions. 


The Pope's reaction to the sentence of life imprisonment 
inflicted upon Cardinal Mindszenty, Primate of Hungary, 
was to summon a special assembly of the Sacred Consistory 
the only one of its kind in this century. Consistories are nor- 
mally held only for the creation of new Cardinals, the formal 
announcement of episcopal appointments and the advance- 
ment of beatification and canonisation causes. 

Cardinal Mindszenty was the first member of the Sacred 
College to be imprisoned by a Communist regime. He was 
followed into prison by the Primate of Poland, Cardinal 
Wyszynski (a distant relative of the former public prosecutor 
and later Foreign Minister of Soviet Russia, Mr. Vishinsky). 
Cardinal Stepinac y Archbishop of Zagreb, Yugoslavia, was 
made a member of the Sacred College when he was actually 
in prison (following the precedents of Cardinal Ledochowski, 
a Pole, in the last century, and St. John Fisher, Bishop of 
Rochester, in the reign of Henry VIII). 

Encyclical letter to the College of Cardinals assembled in the Vatican, 
February 14, 1949: 

We have summoned this extraordinary Consistory today in 
order to open to you our heart weighed down with most bitter 
grief. You will readily understand the reason for this sorrow. 
It concerns a most serious outrage which inflicts a deep wound 
not only upon your distinguished College and upon the 
Church but also upon all those who uphold the dignity and 
liberty of man. 



As soon as we knew that our beloved son, Joseph Mind- 
szenty, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Archbishop of 
Esztergom, had been cast Into prison In bold defiance of the 
reverence due to religion, we sent a loving message to the 
Hungarian hierarchy in which we publicly and solemnly 
protested, as our duty demanded, against the injury done to 
the Church. 

Now, when things have come to such a pass that this most 
worthy prelate has been reduced to supreme indignity and 
condemned like a criminal to life imprisonment, we cannot 
but repeat this solemn protest in your presence. We are 
prompted to do this primarily on behalf of the sacred rights 
of religion which this valiant prelate tirelessly proclaimed 
and defended so strenuously and courageously. Moreover, the 
unanimous agreement of free peoples, expressed in speech 
and writing by leaders of nations themselves and by those 
who do not belong to the Catholic Church, has been made 
known to all in the clearest light. 

But, as you are aware, the clear light of publicity did not 
shine over the trial of this prelate who deserved so well of all 
by defending the religion of his forefathers and by restoring 
Christian morals. In fact, from the outset, the news that 
arrived caused alarm. People outside Hungary who asked 
permission to be present at the trial were refused permission 
if they seemed likely to judge impartially or give a true 
report. This led them, and all upright and honest men as 
well, to believe that those who were conducting the trial in 
Budapest seemed to be afraid to allow all to see what was 
taking place. 

Justice worthy of the name does not begin with prejudice 
and is not based upon a decision previously arrived at. 
Rather, it gladly admits free discussion and gives all the 
opportunity to think, believe and speak. 

But though the facts have not been reliably reported nor 
stated clearly and completely, we cannot omit to mention the 
judgment which all civilised people have passed on this trial. 


We refer particularly to the speed with which it was con- 
ducted, so at once giving ground for suspicion; to the accusa- 
tions captiously and deceitfully framed, and to the physical 
condition of the Cardinal, which is indeed inexplicable ex- 
cept as a result of a hidden influence which may not be 
revealed publicly: to prove this there is the fact that a man 
endowed with the full vigour of a strong character suddenly 
appears so weak and mentally unbalanced that his manner of 
acting seems itself an accusation against those who accused 
and condemned him. 

In all this one thing is clear enough. The principal object 
of the trial was to disrupt the Catholic Church in Hungary 
and precisely for the purpose set forth in Sacred Scripture: 
"I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall 
be dispersed." 

When with heartfelt sorrow we deplore this very sad event 
and would entrust it to public opinion and the tribunal of 
history for final judgment, we are doing what the outraged 
rights of the Church and the dignity of the human person 
clearly demand. 

We deem it our bounden duty to brand as completely false 
the assertion made in the course of the trial that the whole 
question at issue was that this Apostolic See, in furtherance 
of a plan for political domination of the nations, gave orders 
to oppose the Republic of Hungary and its rulers. Thus 
responsibility would be placed upon the Holy See. 

Everybody knows that the Catholic Church does not act 
from worldly motives and that she accepts any form of civil 
government provided it be not inconsistent with Divine and 
human rights. But when it does contradict these rights, the 
Bishops and the faithful themselves are bound by their own 
conscience to resist unjust legislation. 

However, in this time of bitter anguish, the "Father of 
Mercies" has not left us without consolations from above 
which have served to soften our sorrow. Above all it is con- 
soling to witness the steadfast faith of the Catholics of 


Hungary, who are doing ail they can, though facing serious 
obstacles and difficulties, to defend their age-old religion, and 
to keep alive and fresh the glorious tradition of their fore- 
fathers. We find solace In the unflinching confidence we 
cherish in our fatherly concern that the Hungarian Episco- 
pate, acting always in complete harmony of principle and 
practice, will labour with every resource at their command to 
strengthen the unity of the faithful and to buoy them up with 
that hope which can neither be extinguished nor dimmed by 
the sad or unjust happenings of this life, because it has its 
source in Heaven and is nourished by Divine Grace. 

Encyclical letter, October 28, 1956: 

Our fatherly heart is deeply moved by the sorrowful events 
that have befallen the people of Eastern Europe, and especi- 
ally those of our beloved Hungary, which is now being soaked 
in blood by a shocking massacre. And not only is our heart 
moved but so too are the hearts of all men who cherish the 
rights of civil society, the dignity of man and the liberty due 
to individuals and nations. 

Aware of our Apostolic duty, we cannot but fervently 
appeal to you all and to the flocks entrusted to each of you, 
that, moved by brotherly love, you raise suppliant prayers 
with us to God, in Whose hands lie the destinies of peoples 
and the power and very lives of their rulers. Let us pray that 
an end be put to this carnage and that a genuine peace 
founded upon justice, love and rightful freedom may some 
day dawn again. 

May all men come to realise that today's unsettled inter- 
national order cannot be stabilised by an armed might which 
brings many to their death, nor by that violence inflicted 
upon citizens which is powerless to compel their internal 
assent, nor by those deceitful fictions which corrupt the mind 
and are as repugnant to the rights of a civic and Christian 
conscience as they are to the rights of the Church. Nor can 


the breath of just freedom ever be extinguished by external 

In the midst of these oppressive conditions, which so tor- 
ment a beloved part of the Christian people, we recall with 
pleasure the day, now many years ago, when we journeyed to 
Budapest to take part in an International Eucharistic Con- 
gress as the personal representative of our predecessor of 
happy memory, Pius XL We then had the joy and consolation 
of seeing the dear Catholics of Hungary following with ardent 
piety and the most profound veneration the August Sacra- 
ment of the Altar as It was carried in solemn procession 
through the streets of the city. We are sure that the same faith 
in and love of our Divine Redeemer still inspire the hearts 
of this people, even though the champions of atheistic Com- 
munism try with every possible stratagem to despoil their 
minds of the religion of their forefathers. We have the surest 
confidence, therefore, that this great nation, even in the crisis 
which is now tragically vexing it, will once again raise sup- 
pliant prayers to God, asking for that peace and domestic 
order which it so ardently desires. We also hope that all true 
Christians throughout the world, as evidence of their common 
love, will join in prayer with these their brothers who are 
oppressed by so many calamities and so many wrongs. 

We particularly exhort to unite in this holy crusade of 
prayer all those whom we embrace in the same tender affec- 
tion as did the Divine Redeemer, Whose Person we represent 
upon earth those who are in the flower of youth. . . , May 
all Christians join them in invoking the powerful patronage 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for she has great influence for us 
before God, since she is the Mother of the Divine Redeemer 
and our own most loving mother. 

We have no doubt that Christians everywhere in cities, 
towns and villages, wherever the light of the Gospel shines 
and especially boys and girls, will most willingly respond to 
our entreaties. ... So it will come to pass that the beloved 
Hungarian people who are tortured by such great suffering 


and drenched in so much blood, and the other peoples of 
Eastern Europe who are deprived of religious and civil 
liberty, will be able, with the inspiration and help of God 
which is sought in so many suppliant prayers, and through 
the intercession of the Virgin Mary, happily and peacefully 
to resolve these problems in justice and right order, with due 
respect for the rights of God and Jesus Christ, our King. 

Radio address to the nations and their rulers, November 10, 1956 : 

Our heart, the heart of a father, is sorely distressed by the 
consummate iniquity involved in the overthrow of our be- 
loved Hungarian people, guilty only of having desired 
respect for the fundamental rights of mankind. 

To this distress is added our anxiety over the recent threats 
to world peace and our sorrow when we see a weakening of 
the forces of those on whose authority, unity and goodwill, 
it seemed, one could rely for the gradual re-establishment of 
concord among nations in justice and true freedom. 

Who can deny that the problems of peace and just freedom 
have had a deplorable setback, drawing with them into the 
shadows those hopes that have been re-awakened with so 
much effort and confirmed by manifold evidences of sincerity? 

So much blood has been unjustly spilled! So much suffer- 
ing and destruction unexpectedly renewed! The slender cord 
of mutual confidence that had begun to reunite the nations 
and to sustain their faltering spirits seems now to be broken. 
Mutual suspicion and want of confidence have uncovered a 
deeper abyss of separation. 

The whole world is justly shocked by the hasty recourse to 
violence which everyone has denounced a thousand times as a 
means to settling disputes and assuring the victory of right. 

There can be no doubt that the world at large has been 
confused by the paroxysms of these days of violence, and has 
lost its confidence, since it has witnessed the rebirth of a 
policy that, in a different manner, sets arbitration aside and 
raises economic interest above human lives and moral values. 


In the face of such an attack upon justice and brotherly 
love, in the face of a creeping sceptism among men about the 
future, in the face of the grievous disunity of the minds of 
men, we, who have a special mandate from God to promote 
the welfare of all nations, and firmly believe that peace is not 
an empty dream but a duty that can be realised by all, with 
the intention of making a contribution to the salvaging of 
peace, both in itself and in the factors upon which it is based, 
desire to direct a heartfelt plea to the peoples of the earth. 
Let us restore the ways of peace. Let us strengthen the unity 
of all who long for it. Let us bring back confidence to those 
who have lost it. 

Accordingly, we address ourself above all to you, beloved 
peoples men and women, intellectuals, workers, artisans and 
farmers of every race and country. 

Let your rulers know your inmost feelings and your genu- 
ine aspirations. Recent events have confirmed the belief that 
nations, families, individuals prefer the tranquillity of work 
and family life to any other form of wealth that men covet. 
They are quick to reject this wealth if its price is to be 
tyranny or the risk of war with all its terrible consequences 
ruined cities, suffering, imprisonment and death. In the 
name of religion, in the name of civilisation, in the name of 
right human feeling, let us have done with unlawful and 
brutal oppression, with threats of war, with struggles for 
pre-eminence among the great Powers, all of which transmute 
life on earth into an abyss of anxiety and terror, deaden the 
spirit of man and destroy all the fruits of work and progress. 

This is the voice of Nature herself, and it should be pro- 
claimed aloud within and beyond every nation. It ought to be 
heard and accepted by those to whom the people have en- 
trusted power. If the civic authority, in so far as lies within its 
power, does not tend to secure at least life, liberty and tran- 
quillity for the citizens, it has failed essentially to do its duty, 
whatever else it may accomplish. 

But the significance of the sorrowful plight of the 


Hungarian people outweighs every other nightmare in the 
hearts of men. The universal and spontaneous emotion aroused 
throughout the world, undiminished by the attention given 
to other grave events, proves how essential and urgent it is to 
restore freedom to all peoples who have been deprived of it. 

Can the conscience of the world possibly lose interest in 
these their brothers and abandon them to degrading servi- 
tude? Surely the conscience of Christendom cannot shake off 
the moral obligation to try every lawful means to reassert 
their human dignity and to restore their freedom? 

We are not unaware of the present intricate relations 
among nations and among the continental groups embracing 
them. But one must listen to the voice of conscience, the voice 
of civilisation, the voice of brotherhood. One must listen to 
the voice of God Himself, the Creator and Father of all, and 
postpone even at the cost of great sacrifice the solution of 
every other problem and every particular interest in order to 
solve the elementary and fundamental problem of millions 
of human lives reduced to slavery. 

Let them turn their attention as quickly as possible to re- 
forming their ranks and binding together with a firm public 
agreement all those both governments and peoples who 
desire that the world shall walk in the path of honour and the 
true dignity of the sons of God; an agreement capable like- 
wise of effectively defending its members from every unjust 
attack upon their rights and independence. . . . 

Perhaps it will come to pass and we desire this with all 
our heart that the solid ranks of the nations that sincerely 
love peace and liberty will suffice to bring to a more merciful 
frame of mind those who withdraw themselves from the most 
elementary laws of human intercourse and thereby deprive 
themselves of all right to speak in the name of humanity, 
justice and peace. Their own peoples will be the first to find it 
impossible to remain oblivious of the need to return to form 
part of the human family in order to enjoy its honour and 
privileges. Then will all be united in liberty and peace, be- 


loved people of the East and of the West, as members of the 
same human family. 

Peace and liberty! These tremendous words nowadays leave 
no room for an ambiguous position. They have returned to 
their original and luminous meaning as we always understood 
them being derived, that is, from the principles of nature 
and the manifest will of the Creator. 

May your rulers be faithful interpreters of your true feel- 
ings, your true aspirations. God will help you. God will be 
your strength. 

God! God! God! May this ineffable Name, the Source of 
all right, justice and freedom, resound in the parliaments and 
the public places, in homes and factories, on the lips of in- 
tellectuals and labourers, in the press and on the radio. The 
name of God, synonymous with peace and liberty, must be 
the banner of men of goodwill, the bond uniting peoples and 
nations, the sign that identifies brothers and co-workers in 
the task of ensuring mutual security. 

May God arouse you from your lethargy, keep you free 
from all complicity with tyrants and warmongers, enlighten 
your consciences and strengthen your wills in the work of 

Above all, may His Name re-echo in the churches and in 
the hearts of men, as the highest invocation to the Lord, so 
that by His infinite power He may help to complete that 
which our weak human strength is struggling so hard to 

Apostolic letter to Cardinal Mindszenty, Cardinal Stepinac, Cardinal 
Wyszynski, and the Archbishops, Bishops, clergy and laity of Albania, 
Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland, Rumania, 
Eastern Germany and other peoples of Europe suffering persecution, 
"who enjoy peace and union with the Apostolic See", June 29, 1956 : 

While with heavy heart we consider the grave trials the 
Catholic Church is suffering in many lands at the hands of 
atheistic materialism in control there, our thoughts turn to 
the situation prevailing in Central Europe five centuries ago, 


which occasioned the Apostolic letter Cum his superioribus 
annis of our predecessor of immortal memory, Callistus III, on 
June 29, 1456. A grave danger threatened, where it had not 
already befallen, the Christian peoples dwelling in the fruit- 
ful regions washed by the River Danube and the surrounding 
lands, a danger to their lives, their property, their very 

Today, alas, you also who dwell in the countries we have 
mentioned are sorely tried, together with many other Catho- 
lics of the Eastern as well as of the Latin rite whose boun- 
daries are east of your own, or north, along the Baltic coast. 
More than ten years have passed, as you know by experience, 
since Christ's Church was stripped of her rights, though not 
in the same way everywhere. Pious associations and religious 
communities were dissolved and scattered, and Bishops either 
hindered from exercising their office or forced from their sees 
have been sent into exile or jailed. The Catholic dioceses of 
the Eastern rite also have been recklessly suppressed and their 
clergy and faithful have been urged to schism by every ruse. 

We know, moreover, that many have been bitterly perse- 
cuted for their fearless, sincere and courageous efforts to pro- 
fess and defend their faith. Our greatest grief springs from the 
realisation that the minds of children and youth are being 
steeped in false and perverse doctrines. Thus they may be 
separated from God and His Divine precepts, to their great 
loss in this life and to the danger of their eternal salvation. , . . 

We offer daily prayer and supplication to Almighty God 
that in His merciful kindness He will sustain and strengthen 
your faith, that He will lighten your sorrow, that He will 
console you with heavenly blessings, that He will heal per- 
fectly the afflicted and ailing members of the Mystical Body 
of Christ and that finally, when this storm has passed, He will 
command to shine forth among you, among all peoples, a true 
and serene peace sponsored by truth, justice and charity. 

Never, as you know so well, does our Redeemer forget His 


Church. Never does He abandon her. ... He will never deny 
His help to you If you ask it. 

And yet He demands from all that they obey diligently 
and perfectly the precepts of the Catholic Church and that 
they preserve their faith with magnanimous heart. 

You know what is at stake. It is your eternal salvation and 
the salvation of your children and neighbours. Today, be- 
cause of the ever-growing curse of atheism, this is placed in 
the gravest peril. But in this spiritual struggle, if each and 
every one shows strength and loyalty in the fight, as we trust 
they will, they may become victims, but glorious and un- 
conquered. Thus from unjust persecution and the sufferings 
of martyrs, new triumphs will be born for the Church, to be 
inscribed in her annals in letters of gold. 

We are far from thinking that the disciples of Jesus Christ 
are leaving the field of battle broken in spirit, that they are 
concealing or belittling the profession of their faith, that they 
have thrown away their arms like cowards, or are asleep while 
the enemy is striving to overthrow the Kingdom of God. Even 
if this were partly the case which God forbid irreparable 
harm and calamity would befall not only the deserters but 
also the Christian world. We realise, and it is consoling to us, 
that there are very many among you who, with noble deter- 
mination, are ready to sacrifice all, even freedom and life, 
rather than jeopardise the integrity of the Catholic 
religion. . . . 

However, we also realise with regret that human frailty 
and uncertainty cause men to waver, especially when these 
sufferings and persecutions last a long time. For then some 
lose heart and their courage slackens. And what is worse, they 
think that the doctrine of Christ must be made easier, and 
adapted, as they say, to the times and circumstances of things 
and places. They say it is necessary to mitigate and change the 
principles of the Catholic religion so that there may be a 
certain false union between it and the errors of the advancing 


If there are some, weak and bewildered, who lead others to 
be likewise, let the Church's pastors remind them of the 
solemn promise of the Divine Redeemer: "Heaven and earth 
shall pass, away, but my words shall not pass away" Never 
will He allow the faithful and brave children of His Church 
to lack Divine grace and fortitude and thus miserably yield 
to the enemy in the struggle for salvation or be unhappily 
drawn from the side of Christ and helplessly contemplate the 
spiritual and pitiful ruin of their people. . . . 

Let those who are slipping, who waver, who are weak, 
learn from you to strengthen their spirit, to profess the faith 
candidly and openly, to attend to their religious duties and 
to dedicate themselves entirely to Christ. The upright and 
vigorous power of your soul and your effective Christian 
piety, of which glorious witness has often been reported to us, 
affords us no little solace, and bids us hope that you may be 
able to hand down intact to future generations the most 
precious treasure of Christian Faith and of loyalty to the 
Church and the Apostolic See, and so establish it as a sacred 
heritage. Be convinced that the whole Christian family is 
looking with reverential awe at what you are bearing so long 
in silence, in tribulation and in all dire straits. 


Among the numerous ecclesiastical institutes in Rome is 
one popularly known as. the ff College of Hope Against Hope". 
This is the Russicum, the college established by Pope Pius XI 
for the training of students and priests who hope one day to 
minister in Russia to Catholics of the Byzantine Rite y mem- 
bers of which have the same forms of worship including the 
Mass> there called the Divine Liturgy and the same forms 
of ecclesiastical organisation as the Russian Orthodox Church. 

The Holy See recognises as valid the episcopal and priestly 
orders of the Bishops and clergy of the non-Catholic rites. 

On July j, 1952, the Holy Father wrote an Apostolic Letter 
to "the dearly beloved peoples of Russia". 

As soon as we had been raised to the Supreme Pontificate 
our thoughts turned to you, an immense people, greatly re- 
nowned in history for glorious achievements, for love of your 
fatherland, for industry and thrift, for piety towards God and 
the Virgin Mary. We have never ceased to beseech God to 
help you always with His heavenly light and with His Divine 
aid, and to grant each and every one of you to enjoy, together 
with a just and reasonable material prosperity, that freedom 
also through which every one of you may be able to safe- 
guard your human dignity, to know the teachings of the true 
religion and to give due worship to God not only in the inner 
sanctuary of your own conscience but also openly, in public 
and private life. . . . 

When the last, long and terrible conflict broke out, we did 

9 G.F.L. 129 


all in our power, by word, exhortation and action, to heal 
discord and obtain an equitable and just peace, hoping that 
all peoples, whatever their origin, might join in friendly 
brotherhood and work together for their greater prosperity. 

Never, even at that time, was a word heard from our lips 
that could have seemed to any of the belligerents unjust or 
harsh. As was our duty, we certainly reproached every evil 
and every violation of rights, but we did this in such a way 
as to avoid with all care whatever might become, even un- 
justly, an occasion for greater affliction of the oppressed 

Then, when pressure was brought to bear upon us to give 
our approval in some way, either verbally or in writing, to 
the war undertaken against Russia in 1941, we never con- 
sented to do so, as we stated clearly on February 25, 1946, in 
our allocution to the Sacred College of Cardinals and to all 
the diplomatic representatives accredited to the Holy See. 

When there is a question of defending the cause of religion, 
truth, justice and Christian civilisation we certainly cannot 
remain silent. But our thoughts and our intentions have 
always been directed to the end that peoples should be 
governed not by force of arms but by the majesty of law, and 
that each people, enjoying civil and religious freedom within 
their boundaries, should be led towards concord, peace and 
that productive life whereby all citizens can procure what is 
necessary for their nourishment, their shelter and the support 
and upbringing of their families. 

Our words and exhortations concerned, and now concern, 
all nations. Therefore they concern you too, who are ever 
present in our heart and whose needs and sufferings we want 
to lighten as far as we can. 

Those who love truth and not falsehood know that during 
the course of the recent conflict we remained impartial to- 
wards all the contestants and often gave proof of our im- 
partiality by word and deed. They also know that we have 
embraced with most ardent charity all nations, even those 


whose rulers are professedly enemies of this Holy See, and 
those too in which the enemies of God fiercely oppose and try 
to erase from the minds of their citizens all that is Christian 
and Divine. 

Indeed, by command of Jesus Christ, Who entrusted the 
entire flock of the Christian people to St. Peter, Prince of the 
Apostles, whose unworthy successor we are, we love all 
peoples very deeply, and we desire to promote the earthly 
happiness and the eternal salvation of all. All, therefore, 
whether engaged in armed conflict with each other, or 
threateningly contending and disputing over the serious ques- 
tions that divide them, are looked upon by us as so many very 
dear children and we desire nothing more, we ask nothing 
more for them in our prayers to God, than mutual concord, 
just and true peace, and ever-increasing prosperity. And if 
some peoples, deceived by lies and calumnies, are openly 
opposed to us, so all the greater is our pity and the warmer 
our love. 

Undoubtedly, as in duty bound by our Office, we have 
condemned and rejected the errors which the promoters of 
atheistic Communism teach and try to propagate, to the most 
grievous harm and misfortune of the citizens. But as for per- 
sons who are in error, not only do we not turn them away, 
rather do we desire that they should return to truth and the 
right path. 

In fact, we have unmasked and disproved those lies which 
were often being presented under the cloak of truth, precisely 
because we have for you the love of a father, and seek to 
promote your good. We know for certain that those errors can 
only cause you the greatest harm because not merely do they 
deprive your souls of that supernatural light and supreme 
comfort which derive from piety and from the worship of 
God, but they rob you as well of your human dignity and the 
freedom that is due to citizens. 

We know that there are very many amongst you who still 
hold to their Christian faith within the innermost sanctuary 


of their consciences, who in no way allow themselves to be 
induced to help the enemies of religion, and, moreover, whose 
burning desire is to profess Christian teaching the one safe 
foundation of civilised life not only in private but, if 
possible, also openly, as becomes free men. 

We know, furthermore and the knowledge has filled us 
with hope and with deepest comfort that you love and 
honour the Virgin Mother of God with ardent affection, and 
that you venerate her sacred images. It is known that in the 
Kremlin itself there was built a church today, unfortu- 
nately, no longer used for Divine worship dedicated to Our 
Lady Assumed into Heaven, and this is a most clear testimony 
of the affectionate devotion which your forefathers and you 
have for the beloved Mother of God. . . . 

We join you in raising to her our prayers that the Christian 
faith, which is the honour and support of human society, may 
be strengthened and increased among the peoples of Russia, 
and that all the wiles of the enemies of religion, all their 
errors and cunning devices, may be driven far from you; that 
public and private conduct may again be in accord with the 
teachings of the Gospels; that those especially among you 
who profess themselves Catholics, although deprived of their 
pastors, may resist with fearless fortitude the assaults of the 
impious, if necessary even unto death; that true freedom, 
which is the right of the human person, of the citizen and of 
the Christian, may be restored to all as it should be, and, in 
the first place, to the Church, which has the Divine mandate 
to teach all men truth and virtue; finally, that true peace may 
come with its shining light to your beloved nation and to all 
throughout the world, and that this peace, resting safely on 
justice and nourished by brotherly love, may lead all man- 
kind to that common prosperity of citizens and peoples which 
is the fruit of friendship. 

May our most loving Mother be pleased to look kindly also 
upon those who are organising the ranks of the militant athe- 
ists, and upon those who are working with them in their 


endeavours, that she may deign to obtain for their minds that 
light which comes from on high, and turn their hearts, 
through Divine grace, towards salvation. 

In order that our prayers and yours may be more readily 
answered, andjbnt token of our particular affection, as not 
many years ago we consecrated the whole world to the Imma- 
culate Heart of the Virgin Mother of God, so now, in a most 
special w T ay, we dedicate and consecrate all the peoples 
of Russia to that same Immaculate Heart, firmly confident 
that, through the most powerful protection of the Virgin 
Mary, at the earliest possible moment there may be happily 
realised the hopes and the desires which we, together with 
you and with all those of upright intention, have of the 
attainment of true peace, of brotherly agreement and of right- 
ful freedom for all: in the first place for the Church, so that 
by means of prayer which we raise to Heaven in union with 
you and with all Christian peoples, the saving kingdom of 
Christ, which is a "kingdom of truth and of life, kingdom of 
sanctity and of grace, kingdom of justice, of love and of 
peace 9 ', may triumph and be firmly established in every part 
of the world. 

Now, with suppliant heart, we pray the same most loving 
Mother that she may help each and every one of you in the 
present calamity, and obtain from her Divine Son heavenly 
light for your minds and for your souls that virtue and forti- 
tude may enable you to win the victory over impiety and 



In April, 1951, the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the 
Holy Office in Rome, at the Pope's direction, issued this 

"A Bishop, of whatsoever rite or degree, who consecrates 
to the episcopacy one who has neither been appointed by the 
Holy See nor expressly confirmed by it, and the person who 
receives such consecration, even though coerced by grave fear 
. . . incur automatic excommunication reserved to the Holy 
See in a most special manner. This decree exercises its force 
from the very day of promulgation. 9 ' 

The severity of the decree was extreme and in some respects 
unique. Hitherto the law would not have taken effect until 
three months had passed, and the consecrator and the new 
Bishop would first have been suspended from exercising their 
episcopal functions, but not at once excommunicated. 

The obvious object of the decree was to prevent the setting 
up of schismatic, though allegedly Catholic, Churches in 
countries dominated by Communist regimes. In a number 
of countries the Communists, having failed to stamp out the 
Catholic religion by force and persecution, adopted the 
policy of trying to destroy the Church from within by setting 
up, with the collaboration of disloyal, ambitious, weak or 
confused clergy and> laity, ff national" or "patriotic" Churches, 
keeping up most of the appearances of a still existing Catholic 
Church but deliberately separated from the absolutely essen- 
tial loyalty to, and unity with, the Holy See. 



Over many years the Communists had succeeded in secur- 
ing the co-operation of a certain number of "patriotic" priests, 
but they could find no Bishop, no matter what their threats, 
acts or blandishments, to lend any aid to their plans. This 
meant that in due course any "national" Church would 
effectively came to an end for want of Bishops to ordain 
priests and consecrate new Bishops. 

But early in 1958 news came from China, that at last, for 
the first time, the Communists had broken through. Two 
Bishops, it was announced, had in fact been consecrated in 
Hankow against the will and rights of the Holy See. Then 
three months later it was stated that eight more had received 
episcopal consecration, again without the Holy See's permis- 
sion: and now, it appears, there are thirteen excommunicated 
Bishops in China, who may be the nucleus of a schismatic 

It is not clear what information the consecrators had of the 
decree of the Holy Office. At least one of them had been in a 
Communist prison for some years. Moreover, the Pope him- 
self stated that his words reached Communist-dominated 
lands only in a mutilated form. 

Twice His Holiness had written Encyclical Letters prais- 
ing the steadfastness and heroism of Catholics, both clergy 
and laity, living in the Far East under the mastery and 
oppression of Communists a heroism that has often meant 
long endurance of vile conditions in prison, repeated torture 
and many deaths and warning the Bishops, priests and laity 
against the Communists' plans to tear them away from the 
Holy See and Catholic Unity. The first Encyclical, "given at 
Rome, from St. Peter's, January 18, 1952" jailed to reach 
China. When this had become clear to the Pope, His Holiness 
wrote his second Encyclical, repeating his message and bring- 
ing the position up to date. Then, when the news of the 
illicit episcopal consecrations had reached Rome, His Holi- 
ness, in July, 1958, wrote a third Encyclical. This was 


addressed to the Bishops throughout the world and called for 
a novena nine days of prayer for the persecuted Church. 

Encyclical Letter, October 7, 1954: 

About three years ago we Issued the Apostolic Letter 
Cupimus Imprimis to our dear Chinese people, and in a 
special manner to you, Venerable Catholic Brothers and be- 
loved sons. We issued it not only to express to you our 
sympathy in your afflictions but also to exhort you paternally 
to fulfil all the duties of the Christian religion with that 
resolute fidelity that sometimes demands heroic strength 

In recent years the conditions of the Catholic Church in 
your midst have not improved in the least. The accusations 
and calumnies against the Apostolic See and those who 
keep themselves faithful to it have increased. The Apostolic 
Nuncio who represented our person among you has been 
expelled. The snares to deceive those less instructed in the 
truth have been intensified. 

However, as we wrote to you, "y u are opposing with a 
firm will all forms of insidious attack, whether subtle, hidden 
or masked under a false appearance of truth/* 

We know that these words of our previous Apostolic Letter 
were not able to reach you. . . . We know, too, to our great 
comfort of mind, that you have persevered in your firm and 
holy resolve and that no force has succeeded in separating 
you from the unity of the Church. For this we heartily con- 
gratulate you and give you deserved praise. But as we must 
be solicitous for the eternal salvation of each person, we 
cannot hide the sadness and affliction of our soul in learning 
that, although the great majority of Catholics have remained 
steadfast in the Faith, still there are some in your midst who, 
either deceived in their good faith or overcome by fear, or 
misled by new and false doctrines, have adhered, even 
recently, to dangerous movements being promoted by the 
enemies of all religion, especially the religion Divinely re- 
vealed by Jesus Christ 


First of all, today as in the past, the persecutors of the 
Christians falsely accuse them of not loving their country and 
of not being good citizens. We wish once more to proclaim 
what cannot fail to be recognised by anyone guided by right 
reason that the Chinese Catholics are second to none in their 
ardent love and ready loyalty to their most noble fatherland. 
The Chinese people we want to repeat what we wrote in 
their praise in the Apostolic Letter cited above "from the 
most remote times have been eminent among the other 
peoples of Asia for their achievements, their literature and 
the splendour of their civilisation, and once they had been 
illuminated by the light of the Gospel, which greatly excels 
the wisdom of this world, drew from it still finer qualities 
of soul, namely, the Christian virtues which perfect and 
strengthen the natural virtues." 

We see that you are also worthy of praise for this reason. 
In the daily and prolonged trials in which you find yourselves, 
you follow only the just way when, as becomes Christians, 
you give respectful homage to your public authorities in the 
field of their competency. Moved by the love of your country 
you are ready to fulfil all your duties as citizens. But it is also 
a great consolation for us to know that when the occasion has 
arisen, you have openly affirmed, and still affirm, that you can 
in no way stray from the precepts of the Catholic religion and 
that you can in no way deny your Creator and Redeemer, for 
Whose love many of you have faced torture and prison. . . . 

This Apostolic See, especially in these recent times, has 
exercised the greatest solicitude that as many priests and 
Bishops of your own noble race as possible can be correctly 
instructed and trained. And so our immediate predecessor 
of happy memory, Pius XI, personally consecrated in the 
majestic Basilica of St. Peter the first six Bishops chosen from 
among your people. We ourself, having nothing dearer to 
our heart than the daily advancement of your Church, have 
been happy to establish the Sacred Hierarchy in China and 


for the first time In history have conferred the dignity of the 
Roman Purple upon one of your citizens.* 

We desire, then, that the day may soon come for this we 
send up to God most ardent petitions and suppliant prayers 
when Bishops and priests of your own nation and In 
sufficient number can govern the Catholic Church in your 
immense country : and when there will no longer be need of 
help from foreign missionaries in your apostolate. 

But truth itself and the knowledge of our duty demand 
that we propose for your careful attention the following 
points : 

First, these preachers of the Gospel who left their own 
beloved countries to cultivate the Master's field amongst you 
with their labour and sweat are not moved by earthly 
motives. They seek only and desire nothing more than to 
illumine your people with the light of Christianity, to teach 
them Christian customs and to help them with a supernatural 

In the second place, even when the increased number 
of Chinese clergy will no longer need the aid of foreign 
missionaries, the Catholic Church in your nation, as in all 
the others, will not be able to be ruled with "autonomy of 
government", as they say today. In fact, even then, as you 
well know, it will be entirely necessary for your Christian 
community, if it wishes to be part of the Divine Society 
founded by our Redeemer, to be completely subject to the 
Supreme Pontiff, Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, and be 
strictly united with him in regard to religious faith and 
morals. With these words and it is well to note them is 
embraced the whole life and work of the Church and also its 
constitution, its government, its discipline. All these things 
depend certainly on the will of Jesus Christ, Founder of the 

There are some amongst you who would wish that your 
* The first Chinese member of the Sacred College is Cardinal Tien. 


Church would be completely independent not only, as we 
have said, in regard to its government and finances but also 
in regard to the teaching of Christian doctrine and sacred 
preaching, in which they try to claim "autonomy". We do not 
at all deny that the manner of preaching and teaching ought 
to differ according to place, and therefore ought to conform, 
when possible, to the nature and particular character of the 
Chinese people, as also to its ancient traditional customs. If 
this is properly done, certainly greater fruits will be gathered 
amongst you. 

But and it is absurd merely to think of it by what 
right can men arbitrarily and diversely in different nations 
interpret the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

Bishops, who are the successors of the Apostles, and priests, 
who according to their proper office co-operate with the 
Bishops, have been charged with announcing and teaching 
that Gospel which Jesus and His Apostles first announced and 
taught, and which this Holy See and all the Bishops united 
to it have preserved and transmitted pure and inviolate 
through the centuries. The holy pastors, therefore, are not 
the inventors and composers of this Gospel but only its 

authorised custodians and its Divinely constituted heralds 

Wherefore we ourself, and the Bishops together with us, can 
and ought to repeat the words of Jesus Christ : "My teaching 
is not my own, but his who sent me" . 

You can easily see, Venerable Brothers and beloved sons, 
why he cannot be considered a Catholic or bear the name of 
Catholic who professes or teaches differently from what we 
have up to this point briefly explained. This includes those 
persons who have adhered to the dangerous principles under- 
lying the movement of the "Three Autonomies", or to other 
similar principles. 

The promoters of such movements, with the greatest 
cunning, seek to deceive the simple or the timid, or to draw 
them away from the right path. For this purpose they falsely 
affirm that the only true patriots are those who adhere to the 


church thought up by them, that is, to that which has the 
**Three Autonomies/' But in reality they seek, in a word, to 
establish finally amongst you a "national 1 ' church which no 
longer could be Catholic because it would be the negation of 
that universality, or rather "catholicity", by which the society 
truly founded by Jesus Christ is supranational and embraces 
them one and all 

We earnestly exhort "in the heart of Christ" those faithful 
of whom we have mournfully written above to come back to 
the path of repentance and salvation. Let them remember 
that when it is necessary one must render to Caesar the things 
that are Caesar's, and, with greater reason, one must render 
to God the things that are God's. 

When men demand things contrary to the Divine will, 
then it is necessary to put into practice the maxim of St. 
Peter: "We must obey God, rather than men." Let them also 
remember that it is impossible to serve two masters if these 
order things opposed to one another. Also at times it is im- 
possible to please both Jesus Christ and men. 

But if it sometimes happens that he who wishes to remain 
faithful to the Divine Redeemer even unto death must suffer 
great harm, let him bear it with a strong and serene soul. 

On the other hand we wish to congratulate repeatedly those 
who, suffering severe difficulties, have been outstanding in 
their loyalty to God and to the Catholic Church, and so have 
been "counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of 
Jesus". With paternal heart we encourage them to continue 
brave and intrepid along the road they have taken, keeping 
in mind the words of Jesus Christ: "And do not be afraid of 
those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather 
be afraid of him who is able to destroy both soul and body in 
hell. . . . But as for you, the very ham of your head are 
numbered. Therefore do not be afraid. . . . Therefore every- 
one who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge 
him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me 


before men, I in turn will disown him before my Father in 

Certainly, O Venerable Brothers and beloved sons, the 
struggle imposed upon you by Divine Law is not a light one. 
But Christ the Lord, Who has declared blessed those who 
suffer persecution for justice's sake, has commanded them to 
be glad and rejoice, for their reward in Heaven will be very 

He Himself will benignly assist you from Heaven with His 
powerful aid, so that you can fight the good fight and keep 
the faith. Then, too, the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, 
who is also the most loving mother of all, will help all of you 
with her most efficacious protection. May she, the Queen of 
China, defend and help you in a particular way in this 
Marian Year, so that you may persevere with constancy in 
your resolutions. May you be aided by the Holy Martyrs of 
China, who serenely faced death for love of their fatherland 
and above all for their loyalty to the Divine Redeemer and 
His Church. 

Encyclical Letter before the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, July 14, 1958 : 

The rights of the Church, to whom it belongs to choose 
and consecrate, by the Authority of the Apostolic See, the 
sacred Pastors who are lawfully to rule the flock, have some- 
times, alas, been trampled underfoot, to the great loss of the 
faithful of Christ, as though the Catholic Church was a matter 
of one single nation, dependent upon the civil powers, and 
not a Divine institution belonging to all peoples and races. . . . 

In a very special way we exhort those Venerable Brothers 
and beloved sons with all a father's goodwill who are being 
forced, if possible, by every means, cunning and often en- 
snaring, to lose the unity of the Church, firm, solid and 
constant, and that most close union with this Apostolic See 
without which that very unity cannot stand on any sure 
foundation. For everybody knows how this unity is being 


ambushed and assailed, somewhere or other, by false opinions 
and every artifice. 

But let men remember . . . and keep before their eyes these 
wise words of St. Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr: "The Lord is 
speaking to Peter: '/ 503? to thee. He says, 'thou art Peter } 
and upon this rock I will build my Church/ Upon him alone 

He builds the Church This unity we ought to hold 

firmly and defend, especially we Bishops, who preside in the 

Church The Church also is one : it spreads widely into 

a multitude through the increase of its fertility, just as there 
are many rays of the sun but one light, many branches of a 
tree but one trunk founded on a tenacious root, and when 
many streams flow from one spring, although the number 
of them gives the impression of scattering owing to the 
abundance of the overflowing waters, yet unity is preserved 
in the source. Take away a ray from the body of the sun : the 
unity of light does not suffer division; break a branch from a 
tree: the broken part will not be able to germinate; from the 
source, cut off a stream: the stream cut off runs dry. So too 
the Church of the Lord transfused by light stretches its rays 
throughout the whole earth: yet there is only one light, 
which spreads everywhere, and the unity of the body is not 
divided. It spreads its roots all over the earth in its rich 
fruitfulness, it expands widely in broadly flowing streams: 
yet there is but one head and source. . . . He cannot have God 
for his Father who has not the Church for his Mother. He who 
does not hold this unity does not hold the law of God, does 
not hold the faith of Father and Son, does not hold life and 

These words of the holy martyr and Bishop should give 
consolation above all, encouragement and a shield of fortitude 
to those who are in a position of great danger and have many 
hindrances and snares to surmount, since they cannot com- 
municate with this Apostolic See by any means, or only with 
difficulty. But let them trust in the Divine aid, which they 
must not fail to beg with earnest supplications. And let them 


remember that all persecutors of the Church, as the history 
of past time tells us, have passed away like a shadow, while 
the sun of Divine Truth never sets, for "the word of the Lord 
endure th for ever." 

Encyclical Letter to the Archbishops, Bishops, dergy and laity of 
China, Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, June sg, 1958 (but not issued 
until September 9, 1958, by which time, it appears, it had been 
possible to ensure that it had reached those for whom it was intended): 

We consider it to be our duty to declare openly, with heart 
filled to its depths with sorrow and anxiety, that matters 
touching you are, through deceit and cunning endeavour, 
changing so much for the worse that the false doctrine already 
condemned by us* seems to be approaching its final stages 
and to be causing its most serious damage. For, by a par- 
ticularly subtle method of acting, an association has been 
created among you to which has been attached the title of 
patriotism, and Catholics are being driven by every means to 
take part in it 

Under the appearance of patriotism, which in practice is 
shown to be deceit, an association of this kind aims par- 
ticularly at making Catholics gradually embrace the tenets 
of atheistic "materialism", by which God Himself is denied 
and the principles of religion are rejected. . . . All its members 
are stirred up to approve those unjust prescriptions by which 
missionaries are cast into exile, by which Bishops, priests, re- 
ligious men, nuns and the faithful in considerable numbers 
are thrust into prison; likewise to consent to those measures 
by which the jurisdiction of so many legitimate pastors are 
persistently obstructed; to defend those wicked principles 
also which are totally opposed to the unity, catholicity and 
hierarchical constitution of the Church; to admit those first 
steps by which clergy and faithful are undermined in the 
obedience due to legitimate Bishops, and the communities 
of Catholics separated from the Apostolic See. 

* The "Three Autonomies", 


In order to spread these wicked principles more efficiently 
and fix them in everyone's mind, this association which, as 
we have said, boasts of Its title of patriotism uses a variety 
of means, including violence and oppression; by numerous 
publications printed at great length; by group meetings and 
congresses; and In these the unwilling are forced to take part 
by incitement, threats and deceit. In these, if any bold spirit 
strives to defend the truth, his voice is easily smothered and 
overcome, and he is branded with the mark of infamy as an 
enemy of his native land and of the new society. 

Further, there should be noted those courses of instruction 
by which the pupils are forced to imbibe and embrace this 
false doctrine. Priests, religious, both men and women, 
ecclesiastical students from seminaries or religious orders, the 
faithful, of no matter what age, are forced to go to these. In 
almost endless series of lectures and discussions, lasting for 
weeks and months, these so weaken and benumb the strength 
of mind and will that a kind of psychical force extracts an 
assent that contains almost no human element, not an assent 
that is freely asked for, as it should be. Add to these the 
methods of acting by which minds are upset; by every means, 
in private and in public, by traps, deceit, grave fear; the so- 
called, forced, "confessions"; custody in a place where the 
citizens are forced to be "re-educated"; and those "people's 
courts" to which even venerable Bishops are ignominiously 
dragged for trial. 

Against these methods of acting, which violate the chief 
rights of the human person and trample upon the sacred 
liberty of the sons of God, all Christians from every part of 
the world, indeed, all men of good sense, cannot refrain from 
raising their voices with us in very horror, and from uttering 
a protest by deploring the damaged conscience of their fellow- 

The Church has never ceased to impress upon the minds 
of her children the declaration of the Divine Redeemer, 
"Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and 


to God the things that are God's." We call it a declaration 
because it establishes as an objective and established principle 
of the Christian religion that it does not oppose the true 
customs and advantages of the fatherland and can never 
obstruct them. 

It must, however, be asserted that if Christians are bound 
in conscience to render to Caesar, that is to human authority, 
what belongs to it, Caesar likewise, that is, those who control 
the State administration, cannot command obedience from 
citizens in those things which belong not to them but to God, 
and consequently they cannot exact obedience when it is a 
question of usurping God's rights, or when they are forcing 
Christians to act at variance with their religious duties and 
sever themselves from the unity of the Church and her lawful 

At those times, casting aside all doubt, let each individual 
Christian calmly and firmly repeat those words which Peter 
and the other Apostles used in answer to the first persecutors 
of the Church: "We must obey God rather than men' 9 

In rather flamboyant language, those who favour and 
promote the interest of their association, which claims a 
monopoly of the title of patriotism, speak over and over again 
of peace. . . . True peace is that which the Church desires to 
be established, namely, stable, just, fair, founded upon right 
order, which links together all citizens, families and peoples 
by the firm ties of the rights of the Supreme Lawgiver, in 
the first place, and then by the bonds of mutual fraternal love 
and co-operation. . . . 

The Church, which has ever kept a friendly attitude to- 
wards the various events in your country, has long ago spoken 
through our late predecessor of happy memory, and expressed 
the desire that "full recognition be given to the legitimate 
aspirations and rights of that nation, more numerous than 
any other, whose civilisation and culture goes back to the 
earliest times, which in past ages, with the development of 
its resources, had had periods of great prosperity, and which, 

10 G.F.L, 


It may be reasonably conjectured, will become even greater 
in the future ages, so long as It pursues justice and honour." 

On the other hand, as has been made known both by 
broadcast messages and by printed words, there are some 
even, alas, among the ranks of the clergy who do not shrink 
from casting suspicion upon the Apostolic See, and hint that 
it has evil designs towards your country 

Though these men make a profession of a desire to obey 
the Roman Pontiff with regard to truths to be believed and 
to the observance of what they call ecclesiastical directives, 
they yet proceed with such boldness that they refuse to obey 
precise and definite prescriptions of the Holy See. They pro- 
test that these refer to political affairs because of a hidden 
meaning of the author, as if they took their religion from 
some secret conspiracy against their own nation. 

It Is necessary for us to mention In this place a sign of this 
falling aw^ay from the Church, an event truly of great gravity, 
which fills our soul, that of the Father and Universal Pastor 
of the faithful, with a grief great beyond words. For those 
who profess themselves most interested in the welfare of their 
country have for some considerable time been striving to 
disseminate among the people a right which is devoid of all 
truth, according to which Catholics have the power of directly 

electing their Bishops We have heard that not a few of 

such elections have been held, contrary to all right and law, 
and that in addition, setting aside a public and severe warn- 
ing which this Apostolic See had employed towards those 
Involved, certain ecclesiastics have rashly dared to receive 
episcopal consecration. 

Since, therefore, such serious offences against the discipline 
and unity of the Church are being committed, it becomes a 
duty in conscience for us to warn all that this is completely at 
variance with the doctrine and principles on which rest the 
right order of the Society divinely instituted by Jesus Christ 

Our Lord Acts pertaining to the power of holy orders 

performed by ecclesiastics of this kind, though they are valid 


so long as the consecration conferred upon them was valid, 
are yet gravely Illicit, that is, criminal and sacrilegious. On 
this action the warning words of the Divine Teacher fittingly 
fall: "He who entereth into the sheepfold not by the door, 
but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a 
robber"; the sheep indeed know the true shepherd's voice, 
"but a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because 
they know not the -voice of strangers." 

No authority whatsoever, save that which is proper to the 
Supreme Pastor, can render void canonical appointment 
granted to any Bishop; no person and no group, whether 
of priests or of laymen, can lay claim to the right of 
nominating Bishops; no one can lawfuly confer episcopal 
consecration unless he has received the mandate of the 
Apostolic See. 

Consequently, if consecration of this kind is being given 
contrary to all right and law, and by this crime the unity of 
the Church is being seriously attacked, an excommunication 
reserved in a most special manner to the Apostolic See has 
been established, which is automatically incurred by anyone 
who receives consecration irresponsibly conferred, and by the 
actual consecrator. 

What, then, is to be the opinion concerning the excuse 
added by the members of the association of those promoting 
the false patriotism, that they had so to act, as they allege, 
because of the need to attend to the care of souls in those 
dioceses which were at present bereft of their Bishops? 

It is obvious that no thought is being taken of the spiritual 
good of the faithful if the Church's laws are being violated; 
further, that it is not a question of vacant sees, as they wish 
to argue in defence, but often of episcopal sees whose 
legitimate rulers have been driven out, or now languish in 
prison, or are being obstructed in various ways from the free 
exercise of their power of jurisdiction. It must likewise be 
added that there have been cast into prison or exiled or re- 
moved by other means, those clerics whom the lawful 


ecclesiastical superiors had designated, In accordance with 
Canon Law and the special powers received from the 
Apostolic See, to act in their place in the government of 
the dioceses. 

It is surely a matter of grief that, while holy Bishops, noted 
for their zeal for souls, are enduring so many trials, the 
occasion is seized from their difficulties to establish false 
shepherds In their place, so that the hierarchical order of the 
Church Is overthrown and the authority of the Roman Pontiff 
treacherously resisted. 


People said that Tope Pius XII sometimes wrapped his 
pronouncements in a lacework of Ciceronian language. On 
the other hand, His Holiness often painted vivid pictures in 
his discourses 9 notably when he dealt with atomic warfare. 

Christmas message, broadcast December 54, 1955: 

In a nuclear explosion an enormous amount of energy, 
equivalent to several thousand million kilowatts is developed 
in an exceedingly short time. This energy is composed o 
electro-magnetic radiations of very great density, distributed 
over a vast gamut of wavelengths even to the most pene- 
trating, and of tiny bodies produced by nuclear disintegra- 
tion which are hurled at velocities close to that of light. 
This energy is transferred to the atmosphere, and within 
thousandths of a second it increases the temperature of the 
surrounding air masses by hundreds of degrees. Their dis- 
placement is violent, propagated at the speed of sound. On 
the earth's surface, in an area of many square kilometres, 
reactions of unimaginable violence take place. Materials are 
volatilised and utterly destroyed by direct radiation, by heat 
and by mechanical action, while an enormous amount of 
radio-active materials of varying life-span complete the 
destruction through their activity. 

This is the spectacle offered to the terrified gaze as a result 
of such use: entire cities, even the largest and the richest in 
art and history, wiped out; a pall of death over pulverised 
ruins covering countless victims, their limbs burnt, twisted 
and scattered, while others groan in their death agony. Mean- 



while, the spectre of a radioactive cloud hinders survivors 
from giving any help, and advances inexorably to snuff out 
any remaining life. There will be no song of victory: only 
the inconsolable weeping of humanity gazing in desolation 
upon the catastrophe brought about by its own folly 

Easter message, April 18, 1954: 

Instead of the -serene happiness already revealed by Christ, 
year by year there is increasing anxiety, so that mankind is 
tormented by fear of a third World War, some terrible to- 
morrow when they will be beset by new destructive weapons 
of unheard of violence. 

These weapons, of which we had occasion to speak with 
foreboding as far back as February, 1943, "are such as to be 
capable of causing over the whole of this globe a most alarm- 
ing catastrophe," with the total extermination of all life, 
animal and vegetable, indeed, of all the works of man over 
ever wider territories : weapons that are able now, by means 
of artificial radio-active isotopes of far-reaching power, to be- 
foul for long periods even the very atmosphere, the land and 
the very oceans, even far distant from the place directly struck 
and contaminated by nuclear explosions. 

Thus there now rises, before the eyes of a horrified world, 
the prospect of gigantic destruction, the vision of vast areas 
made uninhabitable and useless to mankind. Then there are 
the biological effects that can be caused either by means of 
changes in cells and micro-organisms or because of the un- 
certain effect that a prolonged radio-active stimulus can have 
on the greater organisms, including man himself and his off- 

In this connection we must not fail to mention the peril to 
future generations from the changes that could already be 
wrought, and by new processes in the future, through the 
interference with the natural development of the hereditary 
factors in human beings. The reason is that, through devia- 
tions such as these, it is probable that there are not wanting 


nor could they be wanting those pathological changes 
which give rise to hereditary diseases and monstrosities 

Address to the eighth assembly of the World Medical Association, 
September 30, 1954: 

There can be no doubt, mainly because of the horrors and 
unlimited sufferings caused by modern warfare, that to un- 
leash such warfare without a just motive that Is to say, with- 
out Its being necessitated by an obvious and extremely grave 
Injustice that cannot otherwise be repelled would be a 
"crime" deserving of the most severe national and Inter- 
national sanctions. 

In principle It is wrong even to ask if atomic, bacterio- 
logical and chemical warfare is lawful except when such 
warfare must be deemed Indispensable for defence in the 
conditions previously stipulated. 

Even then, however, all means must be taken to avert it 
through international agreements or to place upon its use 
such well-defined and rigid limitations as will guarantee that 
its effects will be confined to the strict needs of defence. 

Moreover, should the evil consequences of setting this 
method of warfare in motion ever become so widespread as 
to pass utterly beyond human control, then its use must be 
rejected as immoral. It would then no longer be a question 
of "defence" against injustice and of the necessary "pro- 
tection" of lawful possessions, but of the pure and simple 
annihilation of all human life within the radius of the 
destructive action. This is not permissible on any count. . . . 

Christmas broadcast, December 24, 1955: 

We propose to direct our attention to a recent proposal 
which aims at putting a check upon experiments in nuclear 
weapons by means of an international agreement. There has 
also been talk of taking further steps towards conventions, 
through which the use of those weapons would be renounced 
and all States subjected to an effective arms control. 


Thus It seems to be a matter of three steps: renunciation 
of experimentation with atomic weapons; renunciation of the 
use of such; and general control of armaments. 

The supreme importance of these proposals is tragically 
illustrated if one stops to consider what science thinks it can 
predict about such actions. . . . 

As for experiments with atomic explosions, the opinion of 
those who fear the effects produced if they should be multi- 
plied seems to be finding greater acceptance. Too many such 
explosions would in time cause an increased density of radio- 
active products in the atmosphere, the diffusion of which 
depends upon elements not under man's control. Conditions 
very dangerous for many living beings would thereby be 

Inspection by properly equipped planes has been suggested 
for the purpose of watching over any atomic activities in large 
territories. Others might perhaps think of the possibility of a 
world-wide network of observation posts, each one staffed by 
experts of different countries and protected by solemn inter- 
national pacts. 

Such centres would have to be equipped with delicate and 
precise meteorological and seismic instruments, with equip- 
ment for chemical analysis, with vast spectrographs, and such 
like. They would render possible the real control of many, 
though unfortunately not all, of the activities which would 
previously have been outlawed in the field of atomic 

We do not hesitate to declare, as we have in previous 
allocutions, that the sum total of those three precautions as 
an object of international agreement is an obligation in 
conscience of nations and their leaders. We said "the sum 
total" of those precautions because the reason they are 
morally binding is that equal security be established for all. 
If, however, only the first point, concerning experimentation, 
were put into effect, the result would be that that condition 
would not be verified, the more so because there would be 


sufficient reason to doubt a sincere desire to put the other 
two conventions into effect. 

We speak so frankly as we do because the danger of in- 
sufficient proposals concerning peace depends largely upon 
the mutual suspicions that often disturb the relations of 
Powers concerned, each accusing the other in varying degrees 
of purely tactical shrewdness, even lack of sincerity, in a 
matter basic to the fate of the whole human race. . . . 

Easter message, broadcast and televised from the balcony of St. Peter's, 
Rome, April i, 1956: 

Everyone knows that sometimes rapid and powerful suc- 
cesses in the field of human conquest can actually create 
anxieties and fears in men, since they put their individual 
and social lives in serious danger. Just think of what is going 
on at the present time in the field of applied nuclear energy, 
which is such a constant subject of discussion, study, hope 
and fear. 

The peacetime use of this tremendous energy has been the 
subject of long and detailed studies, which win our blessing, 
along with the applause and approval of every honest soul 
and every civilised people. Its use for transport which will 
bring about a much easier and more rapid exchange of raw 
materials for distribution to all the members of the great 
human family; the application of radio-active isotopes to the 
study of biological facts, to the curing of serious illnesses, to 
the improvement of certain industrial processes; the produc- 
tion of energy in atomic centres all are opening new and 
wonderful vistas in the history of mankind. 

Still, everyone is aware that other uses more suited to 
destruction and death are being sought and found. And what 
a death! Every day there is another sad step along this tragic 
road, another rush to arrive there alone, first, best. And the 
human race almost loses hope of the possibility of stopping 
this homicidal and suicidal madness. Terror and fear have 
grown with the coming of modern guided missiles which can 


travel distances, carrying atomic arms, to bring 

the destruction of men and things. 

Christmas broadcast, 1957: 

Aerial observation will with relative ease assure certain 
and effective knowledge of the production of military pre- 
paredness for war while avoiding the disadvantages that can 
arise from the presence of foreign troops in a country. 

Indeed, what technical science has been able to achieve in 
this field approaches the miraculous. In fact, by the use of 
adequate wind-angled lens and sufficient light, it is now 
possible, from a height of several kilometres and In sufficiently 
great detail, to photograph objects on the earth's surface. 
Scientific progress and modern mechanical and photographic 
techniques have succeeded in constructing cameras that have 
reached extraordinary perfection in all aspects. Film of high 
sensitivity with very little grain makes it possible to enlarge 
pictures to hundreds of times their original size. 

Such cameras, mounted in airplanes that fly at a speed very 
close to the speed of sound, can automatically take thousands 
of pictures, so that hundreds of thousands of square kilometres 
can be explored in a relatively short time. 

The experiments conducted in this field give exceptionally 
important results, permitting one to produce concrete evi- 
dence of machines, individual persons and objects present on 
the ground and even at least indirectly below the ground. 
Researches so far made have shown how difficult it would be 
to camouflage movements of troops or artillery, vast stores of 
arms, or industrial centres important for war production. 

If these surveys could be constant and systematic, it would 
be possible to bring out the minutest details and thus give a 
solid guarantee against eventual surprises. 



Address to members of tlie Universal Movement for World Federation, 
April 6, 1951 : 

The Church desires peace, and hence she applies herself to 
the promotion of everything which, within the framework of 
the Divine order, both natural and supernatural, can help to 
ensure peace. 

Your movement, gentlemen, aims at bringing into being 
an effective political world organisation. Nothing is more in 
line with the traditional doctrine of the Church nor more 
adapted to her teaching regarding just and unjust war, par- 
ticularly at the present juncture. One should therefore achieve 
an organisation of this nature if only to put an end to an 
armaments race in which, for decades past, people are being 
ruined and exhausted in a purely wasteful enterprise. 

You hold that if this political organisation is to be 
effective it must take on a federal shape. If by that you 
understand that it should be free from the entanglement of a 
mechanical unitarianism, here again you are in agreement 
with the principles of the social life and policy firmly stated 
and upheld by the Church. As a matter of fact, no organisa- 
tion can make its way if it be not in agreement with that body 
of natural relationships and with that normal and organic 
order which governs the particular relationship existing 
among men and nations. If this be lacking, whatever be the 
structure of the organisation, it could not stand and endure. 
For that reason we are concerned that your first care should 
be to establish upon a solid ground, or to restore, basic 



principles in every field, be it national and constitutional, 
economic and social, cultural and moral. 

First, take the national and constitutional order. Every- 
where at the present time the life of the nations is shattered 
by the blind worship of numbers. The citizen is an elector, 
yet as such he is in fact one of the individuals whose total 
makes a majority or a minority, which a transfer of some 
votes, or even of one, may be sufficient to reverse. As regards 
parties, he only matters in so far as he is valuable for election 
purposes, for the use of his vote in the count. Of his place in 
the family or in his profession no question is raised. 

Secondly, look at the economic and social domain. There 
is no natural organic unity among producers whose eye is 
fixed only upon what is quantitatively useful, whose sole con- 
sideration is the price they may fix for a good return, and 
who allow this aim to determine the place and distribution 
of labour. Such a policy allows the "class" idea to make an 
artificial division of men, thus doing away with co-operation 
in professional fellowship. 

Now turn to the cultural and moral sphere. Individual 
freedom, shaking itself free from all fetters, rules and social 
and objective values; it is truly nothing but a deadly anarchy. 
This is particularly so in the education of young people. 
Unless and until a world political organisation be established 
upon the one indispensable foundation, there will always be 
the risk that itself will be inoculated with the deadly germ of 
mechanical unitarianism. We would bid you ponder on this 
precisely from your particular point of view, federalists as 
fou are, who have in mind, for example, the setting up of a 
tvorld parliament. 

To act differently would be to play the game of the des- 
:royer, at whose hands the political and social order has 
ilready suffered too much. Thus to the many other such in- 
luences that would stifle national life and reduce man to the 
;ondition of a lifeless tool would be added still one more legal 
nstrument as automatic in its working as all the rest. If, 


therefore, In its aim at federation, the political organisation 
that you have in mind cannot, under any pretext, free itself 
from the grip of this mechanical unitarianism, it will only 
enjoy effective authority in so far as it will safeguard and 
foster that life which is proper to any healthy and human 
society, a society in which the members work together for the 
welfare of each and all. 

What a strong dose of moral strength, of clear understand- 
ing and foresight would not this world authority need! It 
would be needed more than ever in those critical moments 
when, faced by sinister threats, men of goodwill feel the need 
to lean upon authority. 

After all the trials of the past and of the present, would 
one say that the present resources and methods of govern- 
ment and politics are sufficient for the task in hand? Truth 
to tell, it is impossible to solve the problem of world organisa- 
tion without agreeing to go aside sometimes from well-beaten 
paths, without appealing to the experience of history, to a 
sound social philosophy, nay, even to a certain Divine fore- 
sight in our constructive imagination. . . . 

You are bold enough to set your hand to the work. We 
congratulate you. We offer you our good wishes for success 
and we pray with all our heart that God may enlighten and 
help you in your task. 

Part Three 

The Church and Science 



The Holy Father's Christmas message of 1952, warning the 
world against the " depersonalisation" of men in the techno- 
logical age was at least partly a personal response to numerous 
letters from poor people and families telling him how they 
found themselves to be caught up in a vast, impersonal 
economic and administrative machine. 

Christmas message, broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1955 : 

"Lift up your heads, for your salvation is near . . /* 

Our wish and our greeting is addressed before all others to 
the poor, to the oppressed, to those who for whatever reason 
sigh in affliction and whose life depends, so to speak, upon 
the hope which can be breathed Into them and the measure 
of help that can be procured for them. 

They are so very, very numerous, these beloved children. 
The sorrowful chorus of prayers and pleas for help, far from 
decreasing as might reasonably be expected after the lapse 
of many years since the world conflict continues and be- 
comes more appealing Sad experience has by now taught 

us that even when the news arrives of an improvement in the 
general conditions of a particular country, we must never- 
theless be prepared for the announcement of perhaps new 
calamities in another, with new miseries and wants. . . . 

Mankind today, which has been able to build the marvel- 
lous and complex machine of the modern world, subjugating 
the tremendous forces of nature to its service, now appears 
incapable of controlling these forces, as though the rudder 

II G.F.L. l6l 


had slipped from Its hands. So It is in peril of being over- 
thrown and crushed by them. 

This inability to control should itself suggest to men who 
are its victims not to expect salvation solely from the tech- 
nicians of production and organisation. Their work can help 
in a marked degree to solve the grave and far-reaching 
problems that afflict the world only if it is bound up with 
and directed towards bettering and strengthening true 
human values 

For men either attribute salvation to some rigorously 
uniform and inflexible order, embracing the whole world, 
to a system that ought to act with the certainty of proved 
method, to a new social formula reduced to cold theoretical 
terms, or, on the other hand, rejecting such general prescrip- 
tions, they hope for salvation from the spontaneous power of 
the natural instinct and, in the best hypothesis, from the 
sentimental impulses of individuals and peoples. 

They do not stop to ask whether the overthrow of the 
existing order follows as a consequence, even though it is 
quite clear that salvation cannot be born of chaos. Both 
these ways are wrong, and therefore they are far from reflect- 
ing the wisdom of God, Who is the first and exemplary cause 
of the alleviation of misery. 

It is superstition to expect salvation from rigid formulas 
mathematically applied to the social order, for this attributes 
to them almost a prodigious power which they cannot have; 
while to place one's hopes exclusively in the creative forces of 
the activity of each individual is contrary to the designs of 
God, Who is the Lord of order. 

We wish to draw the attention of those who step forward 
as benefactors of mankind to both these mistakes, but par- 
ticularly to the first to the superstition which holds for 
certain that salvation must come by organising men and 
things in a strict unity directed towards ever higher capacity 
to produce. They think that, if they succeed in co-ordinating 
the energies of man and the resources of nature in a single 


organic structure for the highest possible production, by 
means of a plan carefully made and executed, every kind of 
desirable benefit will spring forth: prosperity, security for 
the individual and peace. 

One knows where to look in social thought for the technical 
conception of society. It is in the gigantic enterprise of modern 
industry. We do not intend here to express an opinion on the 
need, the usefulness and disadvantages of these methods of 
production. Beyond all doubt they are wonderful proofs of 
the inventive and constructive genius of the human spirit. It 
is right for the world to admire enterprises that in the field of 
production and management succeed in co-ordinating and 
mobilising the physical forces of men and matter, and the 
present age may take legitimate pride in the stable organisa- 
tion of these enterprises, and in the novel and characteristic- 
ally fine quality of their external set-up. 

However, what must be denied is that modern social life 
should be regulated by them or made to conform to them. . . . 
Modern industry has unquestionably had beneficial results. 
But the problem that arises today is this: will a world in 
which the only economic form to find acceptance is a vast 
productive system be adequately fitted to exert a happy in- 
fluence upon society in general and upon the three funda- 
mental institutions of society in particular? 

We must answer that the impersonal character of such a 
world is contrary to the fundamentally personal nature of 
those institutions which the Creator has given to human 
society. In fact, marriage and the family, the State, and 
private property, tend of their very nature to develop man 
as a person, to protect and render him capable of con- 
tributing, through his own voluntary co-operation and 
personal responsibility, to the personal life and development 
of human relationship. 

The creative wisdom of God is therefore alien to that 
system of impersonal unity which strikes at the human 


person, who Is the origin and end of society and, in the 
depths of his being, the image of his God. 

Today, however, there is no question of hypothesis and 
forecast, for this sad reality is already with us. Wherever the 
demon of organisation invades and tyrannises the human 
spirit, there at once are revealed the signs of a false and 
abnormal orientation of society. 

In some countries the modern State is becoming a gigantic 
administrative machine. It extends its influence over almost 
every phase of life. It would bring under its administration 
the whole gamut of political, economic, social and intellectual 
life, from birth to death. No wonder, then, if in this im- 
personal atmosphere, which tends to penetrate and pervade 
all human life, respect for the common good lies dormant in 
the conscience of individuals and the State loses more and 
more its primary character of a community of morally 
responsible citizens. 

Here may be recognised the origin and source of that 
phenomenon which is engulfing modern man under its tide 
of anguish the despoiling of him of his personality. In large 
measure his identity and name have been taken from him. 
In many of the more important activities of life he has been 
reduced to a chattel of society, while society itself has been 
transformed into an impersonal system and into a cold 
organisation of force. 

If anyone still doubts this state of affairs, let him turn his 
gaze upon the teeming world of misery, and let him ask the 
different classes of the indigent what answer society is wont 
to give them, now that the individual person is being lost 
sight of. Let him ask the ordinary poor man, destitute of 
every resource, certainly not rare to find in the cities as well 
as in the towns and rural areas. Let him ask the father of a 
needy family, the constant visitor to the public assistance 
office, whose children cannot wait for the distant and vague 
realisation of a golden age which is always in the future. 

Let him put the question to a whole nation whose standard 


of living Is Inferior or very low and which, associated In the 
family of nations with other peoples who enjoy a sufficient or 
even an abundant way of life, awaits In vain from one Inter- 
national congress to another for a stable Improvement of Its 

What Is the answer which modern society often gives to 
the person who presents himself at the employment office, 
disposed perhaps through habit to accept one more dis- 
appointment but not resigned to the unmerited fate of being 
considered useless? And what Is the response to be given to 
a people who, despite all efforts, have not yet succeeded In 
freeing themselves from the withering clutches of mass 
unemployment ? 

For a long time the constant answer society has given to 
these poor people is that their case could not be handled on 
a personal and individual basis, but that the solution must 
be found in a new order to be established, in a system which 
will embrace all, and which, without essential prejudice to 
freedom, will bring men and matter to a more unified and 
growing strength of action, thanks to an ever more extensive 
utilisation of technical progress. When such a system will 
have been realised, they say, the prosperity of all men will 
automatically ensue : a constantly rising standard of life and 
full employment. 

Though we are far from believing that the constant 
reference to the future mighty organisation of men and 
matter is a mean diversion invented by persons who do not 
want to help, and even recognise that it Is a firm and sincere 
promise calculated to Instil confidence, yet we do not see upon 
what serious foundation it rests. 

For the lessons of present experience point rather to a 
sceptical attitude towards the chosen system. This scepticism, 
moreover, is justified by a kind of closed circle in which the 
end in view and the method adopted revolve one about the 
other without ever meeting and agreeing. In fact, the in- 
tention of guaranteeing full employment with a constantly 


rising standard of living may well make one ask anxiously 
to what degree expansion is possible without provoking a 
catastrophe, and above all without bringing in its wake mass 

It seems, therefore, that efforts must be made to attain the 
highest possible level of employment, but at the same time 
means must be sought to ensure its stability. 

Confidence cannot brighten a panorama over which hovers 
the spectre of insoluble contradiction. There is no escape 
from its spiral as long as men reckon with only one factor; 
namely, the highest degree of production. One must no 
longer consider the standard of living and the employment 
of labour purely as quantitative factors, but rather as human 
values in the full sense of the word. 

Whoever, then, would try to meet the needs of individuals 
and peoples cannot rely upon the security of an impersonal 
system of men and matter however vigorously developed in 
its technical aspects. Every plan or programme must be 
inspired by the principle that man, as subject, guardian and 
promoter of human values, is more important than mere 
things, is more important than the practical applications of 
scientific progress, and that, above all, it is imperative to 
preserve the essential forms of the social order which we have 
just mentioned from what may be described as an unwhole- 
some "depersonalisation" and to use them to create and 
develop human relationships. 

If the powers inherent in society are directed to this end, 
they will not only realise one of their natural functions but 
they will help greatly to relieve the necessities of the moment. 
For society should use its strength to encourage full and 
mutual solidarity among individuals and peoples. 

It is upon that solid basis, not upon worthless and unsteady 
systems, that we call upon men to build the social fabric. 
Solidarity demands that outrageous and provocative in- 
equalities in living standards among different groups in a 
nation be eliminated. To achieve this urgent end, the power- 


ful voice of conscience is preferable to duress. Conscience will 
know how to set limits to spending on luxuries, and likewise 
persuade those of more modest means to provide, before all 
else, for what is necessary and useful, and then save whatever 
is left over. 

This solidarity among men demands not only in the name 
of brotherly love but even of mutual advantage that every- 
thing possible be done to maintain and increase employment. 
Therefore, let those who are able to invest capital consider 
in the light of the common good and, with due regard to their 
economic condition and to the risks involved and the oppor- 
tunity offered, whether they can in conscience neglect and 
fail to make investments through over-caution. On the other 
hand, those employers act against conscience who, by exploit- 
ing their own private business for selfish ends, hinder others 
from finding employment. 

If private initiative is inactive or Inadequate, the public 
authorities are obliged to provide employment, as far as 
possible, by undertaking works that are useful to the com- 
munity, and to ease the situation by advice and by helping 
people to find employment. . . . 

Let every nation develop its own powers in regard to living 
standards and employment, and contribute to a correspond- 
ing progress of nations less favoured. Although even the most 
perfect international solidarity would hardly bring about 
perfect equality among nations, there is still an urgent need 
that this solidarity be achieved, at least in a measure sufficient 
to change the present situation appreciably. . . . Solidarity 
among nations demands the abolition of glaring inequalities 
in living standards and also in financial investment and in 
the degree of productivity of human labour. 

Such a result, however, will not be affected by a mechanical 
ordering of society. Human society is not a machine and it 
must not be made such, not even in the economic field. 
Rather, one must always keep in mind the native endow- 
ment of the human person and the individual characteristics 


of nations, as the natural and basic point of departure in 
striving to attain the end of the economic order, which is to 
ensure a steady and adequate supply of goods and material 
services directed, in their turn, at improving moral, cultural 
and religious conditions. . . . 

Economic difficulties are, however, not the only ones under 
which man suffers nowadays. Often connected with these 
there arise difficulties of conscience and especially for the 
Christian careful to live according to the dictates of human 
and Divine law. 

Those who uphold an impersonal idea of society condemn 
to interior torment the very conscience upon which morale 
and renewal and salvation in great part depend. . . . 

Indeed, modern society, which would plan and organise 
everything, being regarded as a machine, comes into conflict 
with something living and which therefore cannot be made 
subject to quantitative calculations. More precisely, it comes 
into conflict with those rights which by nature man exercises 
on his own and sole personal responsibility that is, as the 
author of a new life of which he is always the principal 
custodian. Such conflicts between economic system and con- 
science are masked under such terms as the question of the 
birth rate and the problem of emigration. 

Pope Pius XII in his private study at the summer palace at Castel Gandolfo 

From the balcony of St. Peter's, His Holiness gives his Easter blessing to a vast gathering of the faithful 

His Holiness rises from the Sedia Gestatoria to bless a congregation in 
the Basilica of St. Peter 



Address to the first congress of the International Federation of 
National Associations of Technicians, October 9, 1953: 

More than once your lecturers have sadly indicated the 
paradoxical place which seems to be assigned to your profes- 
sion. In fact the technician undoubtedly occupies an eminent 
position among all those who have built up and still elaborate 
the modern world. Present-day civilisation is marked by an 
extraordinary evolution of man's means of action, his ability 
to observe phenomena, to manufacture tools for transform- 
ing matter, to build engines capable of conquering distances, 
and to establish speedy and secure means of exchange be- 
tween various countries. 

All these results are fruit of technical research and of long, 
painstaking calculations. However, in spite of his very exten- 
sive contribution, the technician becomes aware of the fact 
that the place allotted to him in the organisation of society is 
inadequate, and that he rarely attains to positions of com- 
mand. Though ever-ready to co-operate in carrying out 
others' projects, he can seldom have the direction of those 
economic, administrative and political forces upon which the 
progress of public institutions depends. You have pointed out 
several causes. We shall turn our attention to one of them, 
because it seems to us more significant than the rest. 

It has been justly remarked how well the specific training 
of the technician, based upon the study of mathematics and 
the experimental sciences, qualifies him for the observance of 
concrete realities, for the evaluation of the forces and resources 



of nature, and the possible means of using them. The 
building of machines and instruments demands the greatest 
precision both in preliminary calculations and in the making 
and assembling of their various parts. Even minute defects 
are quickly observed, and the reward of success or the punish- 
ment of failure is not long delayed. His continual practice 
of a profession entailing such imperative demands accustoms 
the technician to be closely attached to concrete problems 
whose solution must be of practical value. . . . 

Thus, through constant application to the solution of prac- 
tical questions, the technician sometimes yields to the temp- 
tation to neglect somewhat the scientific aspect of his career, 
and to prefer empirical procedure to real, definitive theoreti- 
cal solutions. Since he is often obliged to bow to administra- 
tive and economic considerations, he runs the risk of having 
his intellectual view of problems shrink little by little, and 
of being too exclusively absorbed in a circle of immediate 
interests, to the detriment of higher considerations which 
are, perhaps, less immediately useful but more universal and 
consequently of wider import. 

You are right, then, to insist upon the need for a general 
scientific culture which will allow the technician easily to 
surpass the limits of his specialisation and the over-narrow 
conditions of his ordinary occupations, in order to interest 
himself in collateral studies and help himself from their re- 
sources. His creative power will thus be intensely stimulated, 
as well as his efficiency in his own branch. 

But one must have the courage to go further. ... If the 
technician really aims at being a guide and pioneer of social 
progress, it is important that, first of all, he should have well- 
thought-out views on human society's general aims and on 
the elements affecting its evolution. This does not mean that 
he should be an expert in juridical, economic and other 
sciences, though they may well afford him useful supplemen- 
tary information, but he must acquire for himself a suffici- 
ently exact idea of those natural laws which govern man and 


rule his actions as an individual and as a member of the 
various social groups, particularly the family and the nation. 

For such a purpose, It is not sufficient to consider man as 
he Is today, for man must be explained by following his 
development through the ages which mark the progress of 
civilisation. The meaning of individual elements is better 
seen by looking at them In the general scheme Into which 
they fit and, consequently, appear in their true perspective. 
For this indeed Is the mark of true culture, which carefully 
distinguishes between the essential and the accessory, and 
sees in the general effect the role played by each of its 
components. We repeat that there is no question of becom- 
ing specialists in each of these fields but only of keeping erne's 
mind open to all those forms of the good and the beautiful 
created by men's initiative and devotedness, whether of our 
own time or of the past, and of seeing the relations binding 
them together in order of precedence. 

The Church herself furnishes an example of such open- 
mindedness which is too seldom noticed. Under her charge, 
received twenty centuries ago, to educate man in his religious 
and moral life, she has never neglected his other cares and 
needs, whether in regard to his material or legal conditions, 
or his education, or family and civic organisations. The 
Church has never shut herself up in a narrow conception of 
man, because she realises the complexity of his nature and 
knows the condition of man better than anyone else. Her 
social teaching is an exact reflection of her central position. 
It strives to obtain due respect for the various needs of man 
as a whole, body and soul, as an individual and a member of 
society, child of man and son of God. That is why Christian 
principles are the surest guarantees of the normal happy 
development of humankind. . . . 

Your position at the very heart of enterprises, as the link 
between the general management and the workers, demands 
of you not only professional ability but also a profoundly 
human outlook. You have to direct free, intelligent persons. 


If you strive to keep before your eyes the vision of man as a 
comprehensive whole of which we have just spoken, you will 
have no difficulty in noting that the personal problems which 
affect your life and destiny, touching the most Intimate 
depths of mind and heart, are just as acute, though perhaps 
less clearly so, for the humblest of your subordinates. 

You like to be entrusted with responsibility, to be left free 
to take the initiative yourselves. You wish to see the purpose 
aimed at, and to check, as you proceed, the steps which bring 
you nearer to it. You want to rise above the merely profes- 
sional framework so as to develop your whole personality. 
That is all quite good and lawful. It is therefore to be desired 
that the most modest worker should gradually come to share 
in it. After he had been too long treated as a tool of produc- 
tion, to be used at pleasure, his material condition of life 
became a subject of anxiety. It is now realised that it would 
be quite insufficient to stop there. Since work is a necessity 
for every man, his professional occupations must not disturb 
his most natural and spontaneous feelings, but must fully 
respect his dignity. 

That is to say, it is not enough to see in him a producer of 
goods, but he must be treated as a spiritual being whose work 
should ennoble him and who expects from his superiors, even 
more than from his equals, understanding of his needs, and 
truly brotherly sympathy. 

The technician, in order to increase his influence and the 
prestige of his profession, does not have to go outside his own 
role. In a world of ever-expanding undertakings, splendid 
tasks await him, provided he be careful not to allow his field 
of vision to be narrowed down or his generosity to wane. 
Towards that end, let his personal life be well-ordered; let 
him respect his own highest aspirations, both religious and 
moral. Let selfish interests, the attachment to comfort or 
wealth, the pursuit of material gain or honour, never stain 
his ideal, that ideal which you have set before you, in all its 
nobility, during these days of study. 


We wish you that courage and optimism which is never 
daunted by the inevitable setbacks and difficulties. On your 
path you will encounter scepticism and misunderstandings. 
But your faith in the real destiny of mankind will remain 
unaffected. God, Who knows the depths of the heart, approves 
of your generous Intentions. May He give you the strength 
to cany them out, and may He protect you, your families and 
your fellow-workers. 

Christmas message, broadcast December 24, 1953: 

"The people that dwelt in darkness saw a great light'" 

With this vivid picture the prophetic spirit of Isaias fore- 
told the coming on earth of the Heavenly Babe, Father of 
the world to come and Prince of Peace. And with the same 
vision, which in God's good time has become a reality and 
is the comfort of the succeeding generations In this dark 
world, we wish, beloved sons and daughters of the whole 
Catholic world, to begin our Christmas message, and by 
means of it to bring you once again to the bright light that 
surrounds the cradle of the new-born Saviour. To give that 
light and to conquer darkness is, in fact, the real meaning of 
the Birth of the Saviour, . . . 

Despite such a generous outpouring of the Divine light 
from the humble Manger, man still has the terrifying power 
to go down into the former darkness caused by the first sin, 
where the spirit becomes hardened in works of evil. For those 
who thus follow blindly their own will, because of lost or 
weakened faith, Christmas holds no other attraction than 
that of a merely human festival, now become a thing of 
hollow sentiment and merely earthly memories to which, 
nevertheless, they often dearly cling without any understand- 
ing of its inner meaning. 

Amidst the light surrounding the cradle of the Redeemer, 
then, there are patches of darkness, and men go around with 
eyes closed to the heavenly light, not because God Incarnate, 


even in His mystery, cannot enlighten everyone who comes 
into this world, but because many are dazzled by the passing 
splendour of human ideals and achievements. Their vision 
goes no further than the confines of creation, incapable of 
raising it to the Creator, the Beginning, the Harmony and 
the final End of all existing things. 

It is to these men whose spirit is in darkness that we wish 
to point to "the great light'* radiating from the Manger, ask- 
ing them, above all else, to realise the cause which in our 
time is making them blind and insensible to things Divine. 
It is the excessive and sometimes exclusive esteem for what 
is called "progress in technology". This was first dreamed of 
as a mythical almighty dispenser of happiness. Pressing for- 
ward, then, by every device to the most daring conquests, it 
has finally imposed itself upon the minds of men as the final 
end of man and of life, making itself, therefore, a substitute 
for every kind of religious and spiritual ideal. 

Now, however, it is becoming ever clearer that its undue 
exaltation has so blinded men's understanding that they have 
become an example of what the Book of Wisdom castigated 
in the men of its time: they are incapable of learning from 
the visible world of Him Who is, of seeing the worker in His 
work. Still more today, the supernatural world and the work 
of Redemption, which is above all natural things and was 
accomplished by Jesus Christ, remain wrapped in total obli- 
vion for those men who walk in darkness. 

Nevertheless, the erroneous consequence does not follow 
necessarily; nor are our present criticisms to be understood as 
a condemnation of technological progress in itself. The 
Church loves and favours human progress. It is undeniable 
that technological progress comes from God, and so it can 
and ought to lead to God. In point of fact, while the believer 
admires the conquests of science and makes use of them to 
penetrate more deeply into the knowledge of creation and of 
the forces of nature, that by using machines he may better 
master them for the service of mankind and the enrichment 


of human life, It most often happens that he feels himself 
drawn to adore the Giver of the good things which he admires 
and uses. He knows full well that the eternal Son of God is 
the " first-born of every creature, because in him were created 
all the things in Heaven and on earth, both visible and 
invisible 93 . 

Far, then, from any thought of disavowing the marvels of 
technology and its lawful use, the believer may find himself 
more eager to bow his knee before the Child come from 
Heaven to the manger, more aw-are of his debt of gratitude 
to Him Who gives all things and the ability of mind to 
understand them, more disposed to find a place for those 
same works of technology in the chorus of angels of Bethle- 
hem: "Glory to God in the highest." He will even find it 
natural to place beside the gold, frankincense and myrrh 
offered by the Magi to the Infant God these modern conquests 
of technology machines and numbers, laboratories and in- 
ventions, power and resources. Furthermore, to present such 
an offering is as though to offer to Him the work which He 
Himself once commanded to be done and which is now 
brought to being, though it has not yet reached its term* 
"Dwell on the earth and bring it to subjection" said God to 
man as He handed creation over to him as a legacy for a time. 
What a long and hard road from then to the present day, 
when men can at last say that they have in some measure 
fulfilled the Divine command! 

Technology has in fact brought man's domination of the 
material world to a pitch of perfection never known before. 
The modern machine allows a mode of production that sub- 
stitutes for and multiplies a hundredfold human energy for 
work that is entirely independent of the contribution of 
organic forces and which ensures at once a maximum of ex- 
tensive and intensive potential and of precision. As we em- 
brace with a glance the results of this development, nature 
itself seems to nod approval of what has been done in it and 
to beckon man on to further investigation and use of its 


extraordinary possibilities. Now it is clear that all search for 
and discovery of the forces of nature, in which technology 
fulfils its function, is at once a search for and discovery of the 
greatness, the wisdom and the harmony of Good. 

Looked at in this way, there is nothing in technology to 
disapprove of or condemn. 

Nevertheless, it can hardly be denied that this technology, 
which in our century has reached the height of its splendour 
and fruitfulness, is, because of various circumstances, the 
occasion of grave spiritual danger. For it seems to give man, 
prostrate at its altar, a sense of self-sufficiency and satisfaction 
of his boundless thirst for knowledge and power. In its many 
varied uses, in the absolute confidence which it awakens, in 
the extraordinary possibilities that it promises, modern tech- 
nology opens before man so vast a vision that many confuse 
it with the infinite itself. In consequence it is allowed an 
autonomy that cannot be admitted, and this, in turn, is trans- 
lated in the minds of some into a false conception of life and 
of the world, known as the "technological spirit". 

In what exactly does this consist? 

In this : that what is most highly prized in human life is 
the advantage that can be drawn from the forces and elements 
of nature. Whatever is technically possible in mechanical 
production takes precedence over all other forms of human 
activity, and the perfection of earthly culture and happiness 
is seen in it. 

There is a basic falsehood in this distorted vision of the 
world offered by the technological spirit. The seemingly 
boundless panorama unfolded before the eyes of modern man, 
however extensive it may be, is but a partial projection of life 
on reality. It merely expresses its relationship with matter. 
Accordingly, it is a deceitful panorama, for it ends by shut- 
ting up as in a prison those who are too credulous with regard 
to the almighty power and immensity of technology. The 
outlook is wide indeed; nevertheless, it has frontiers, and 
hence in the long run it cannot be accepted by man's true 


spirit. For his vision, far from roaming over infinite reality, 
as he thought (for reality embraces more than the merely 
material), will feel chafed by the barriers which matter must 
needs set up 

Much more serious is the damage, in the realm of specific- 
ally religious truths and of his relationship with the super- 
natural, done to the man who is, one might say, intoxicated 
with the "technological spirit". This too is the darkness to 
which the Evangelist St. John alludes, that hinders the 
spiritual understanding of the mysteries of God which the 
Incarnate Word of God came to dispel, 

Not that technology in itself requires, as a logical conclu- 
sion, the denial of religious values. On the contrary, as we 
have said, logically it is led to acknowledge them. But it is 
that "technological spirit" that puts man into a state of mind 
that is unfavourable for seeking, finding, accepting truths 
and values of a supernatural order. The mind which has let 
itself be led astray by a concept of life outlined by the "tech- 
nological spirit" remains uncomprehending, uninterested 
and hence unseeing in the presence of those works of God, 
the mysteries of the Christian faith, totally different as they 
are from technology. 

The very remedy for this defect, which would consist in a 
redoubled effort to extend one's vision beyond the barrier of 
darkness and to arouse in the soul an interest in supernatural 
truths, is made ineffective right from the beginning by the 
"technological spirit" itself. For this way of looking at life 
deprives men of their sense of judgment on the remarkable 
unrest and superficiality of our time, a defect which even 
those who truly and sincerely approve of technological pro- 
gress must unfortunately recognise as one of its consequences. 

Those who are imbued with the "technological spirit" find 
with difficulty the calm, the serenity, the inwardness essential 
for discovering the way that leads to the Son of God made 
man. They will even go so far as to belittle the Creator and 
His work, saying that human nature is a defective product, 

12 G.F.L. 


when the necessary limitations of the human brain and other 
organs stand in the way of the fulfilment of technological 
plans and projects. 

Still less are they fit to understand and rightly esteem 
those very deep mysteries of life and of the Divine economy 
for example, the mystery of Christmas, in which the union 
of the Eternal Word with human nature brings into play 
realities and marvels quite other than those of technology. 
Their thought is along different lines and follows other 
patterns, under the one-sided influence of that "technological 
spirit" which recognises and reckons as real only that which 
can be expressed in mathematical formulas and utilitarian 

They think that thus they are breaking up reality into its 
elements, but their knowledge goes no deeper than the sur- 
face, and deals with but one aspect. 

It is evident that whoever adopts the method of technology 
as the sole way of seeking truth must give up any idea of a 
deep insight into the basic realities of organic life. And this 
is even more true of the realities of the spiritual life, the 
living realities of the individual person and of human society, 
since these cannot be analysed into quantitative relationships. 
How can one ask of a mind so formed assent and wonder in 
the presence of the awe-inspiring reality to which we have 
been lifted by Jesus Christ through His Incarnation and 
Redemption, His Revelation and His Grace? 

Even leaving aside the religious blindness which comes 
from the "technological spirit", a man who is possessed by it 
is arrested in his intellectual life. Yet it is precisely in that life 
that man is created to the image of God. God's intellect is 
infinitely comprehensive, whereas the "technological spirit" 
makes every effort to restrict in man the free expansion of 
his intelligence. 

The technologist, master or pupil, who would free himself 
from this limitation needs not only an education of mind that 
aims at depth of knowledge but, above all, he needs a religious 


formation, which, in spite of what some say, is the kind most 
apt to safeguard his thought from one-sided influences. Then 
the narrowness of his knowledge will be broken through; then 
creation will appear before him in a light that reveals all its 
dimensions, especially when before the Crib he will make 
an effort to comprehend "in all its breadth and length and 
height and depth the love of Christ". Otherwise, this era 
of technological progress will fashion its monstrous master- 
piece, making man into a giant of the physical world at the 
expense of his soul, now reduced and dwarfed in the realm of 
the supernatural and eternal. 

But this is not the only harm done by technological pro- 
gress when it is accepted, in the thinking of men, as some- 
thing autonomous and an end in itself. No one can fail to see 
the danger of a "technological concept of life". By that is 
meant looking upon life exclusively with regard to its tech- 
nological values, and as an element and factor in technology. 
This attitude has its repercussions both on the way modern 
men live and on their mutual relationship. 

Look for a moment at this spirit already at work among 
the people. Consider especially how it has changed the human 
and Christian concept of work, and what influence it brings 
to bear upon legislation and administration. The people have 
welcomed and rightly so technological progress, because it 
eases the burden of toil and increases production. Yet it must 
also be admitted that if such a way of thinking is not kept 
within right bounds, the human and Christian concept of 
work necessarily becomes distorted. Likewise, from this dis- 
torted concept of life and hence of work, men come to con- 
sider leisure time as an end in itself, instead of looking upon 
it and using it as reasonable rest and recreation, bound up 
essentially with the rhythm of an ordered life. In this, rest 
and toil alternate in a single pattern and blend into a single 

More evident still is the influence of the "technological 
spirit" applied to work, when Sunday loses its unique dignity 


as the day devoted to the worship of God and to physical and 
spiritual Vest for the individual and the family. It becomes 
instead merely one of the free days in the weekly round, 
which can even be different for each member according to 
the greater profit one hopes to derive from such a mechanical 
distribution of material and human energy. 

So, also, professional work can become so dependent upon 
and subordinate to the "efficiency" of the machine and of the 
tools of labour that the worker is rapidly exhausted, as though 
one year of working at his trade were to use up the energy 
required in two or more years of normal life. 

We refrain from showing more at length how this system, 
inspired exclusively by technological considerations, contrary 
to what was expected, causes a waste of material resources no 
less than of the principal sources of energy, among which 
certainly man himself must be included. We might show 
how in consequence it must in the long run prove a costly 
burden upon the world economy. 

We cannot, however, fail to call attention to the new form 
of materialism which the "technological spirit" introduces 
into life. Let it suffice to show that it empties life of its mean- 
ing, since technology affects the combined spiritual and 
material values connected with man's nature and personal 
dignity. Wherever technology reigns supreme, there human 
society will be transformed into a colourless mass, into some- 
thing impersonal and without substance, and this contrary 
to the clear designs of nature and the Creator. 

Undoubtedly large sections of mankind have not yet been 
touched by such a "technological concept of life", but it is 
to be feared that wherever technological progress penetrates 
without safeguards, there the danger of the deviation cen- 
sured above will not be long in showing itself. 

With particular anxiety we consider the danger threaten- 
ing the family, which is the strongest principle of order in 
society. For the family is capable of inspiring in its members 
innumerable daily acts of service, binds them to the home and 


hearth with the bonds of affection, and awakens in each of 
them a love of the family traditions by working to produce 
and preserve what is good and useful. On the contrary, 
wherever the technological concept of life penetrates, the 
family loses its personal bond of unity and is deprived of its 
warmth and stability. It remains united only in so far as mass 
production demands, and such production is more and more 
the object of man's striving. No longer is the family a work 
of love and a haven for souls : it is, rather, a desolate depot, 
according to circumstances, either of manpower for mass pro- 
duction or of consumers of the material goods produced. 

The "technological concept of life" is therefore nothing 
but a particular form of materialism, in as much as it offers a 
mathematical formula and utilitarian calculations as though 
they were the ultimate answer to the question of existence. 
Because of this, modern technological development, seem- 
ingly unaware of being lost in darkness, is showing un- 
easiness and anxiety. This is felt especially by those who 
engage in a feverish search for industrial methods ever more 
complicated, ever more hazardous. 

A world guided in this way cannot be said to be lighted 
by that light nor animated by that life which the Word, the 
splendour of God's glory, by becoming man, has given to 



Address to delegates attending a congress in Rome of the Christian 
Associations of Italian Workers, at the Vatican, June 7, 1957: 

It is fitting that you should approach this uncharted terrain 
not merely as scientists and technicians but also as sociologists 
and Christians, since a mistaken approach to the question at 
issue might well have dangerous repercussions both in the 
material sphere and in that of moral and spiritual values. As 
you know, these spheres are inseparable in the life of the 
individual. . . . 

If people are talking today with such emphasis about "auto- 
mation", they obviously have something more extensive in 
mind & force capable of transforming radically not only the 
economy but also the very life of man and his society. Some 
people have gone so far as to assert that with automation 
there is coming into being a world completely "made by 
man", and that today, for the first time, man, enlightened by 
the exact sciences, is taking the place of the Creator, as auto- 
nomous lord of the universe. 

Of course we do not desire to lessen your enthusiasm for 
the study of automation's urgent problems when we say that 
these ought to be studied with greater objectivity, particu- 
larly by setting aside every false idea about man and the 
universe. It is said that more than 30,000 publications dealing 
with this subject have already appeared. And still we read 
again and again that scholars have not yet reached a satis- 
factory definition of automation. 

Only the elements of the subject can be described: sets of 



working procedures In the manufacture of a given product, 
or even the entire process of production with its manifold 
and numerous steps, are carried out in the manner of an 
automaton. Furthermore, to assure this automatic produc- 
tion, there are introduced into it complexes which are inter- 
connected and operate automatically : hydraulic and electric 
"control" devices, optical and acoustical signal systems, 
mechanisms to watch over the quality and quantity of the 
product and to transmit orders, and electronic regulators to 
control a predetermined series of operations. 

In this way not only human muscles but even human 
nerves and brains are rendered useless in the process of pro- 
duction. Some even arrive finally at the point of imagining 
or dreaming of a factory without any human beings. If the 
discovery of atomic energy is to be regarded as a great and 
important achievement, it must be realised that it is quite 
unusable without automation. Only automation, in fact, 
can confer upon manufacturing a sureness and precision to 
which direct human labour cannot attain but which is abso- 
lutely indispensable in the employment of atomic energy. 

All this is true and inspires in the Christian, above all 
others, a grateful admiration for the greatness of God the 
Creator and of His works. 

But that automation as such, as a new manner of organising 
the material forces of production, can of itself introduce a 
radical change into the life of man and society they especi- 
ally can assert this who, in agreement with Marxist principles, 
falsely attribute a fundamentally determining importance to 
the technical side of human life, and to the external aspects 
of the performance of work. 

The present age, usually called the Age of Technology, is 
inclined to admit a similar conception of the future. How- 
ever, man's development is always determined by the totality 
of his nature in the midst of society, and consequently by the 
manifold factors embraced in man's unity. Only under this 
aspect is the technical factor effective. . . . However great the 


influence of automation becomes, it will remain limited by 
its very nature. It is one o the factors of the future, but not 
in itself a determining one nor a restrictive one. 

Nevertheless, automation endows man with the power to 
become the demi-urge of a "man-made-world". Thanks to the 
methods of production inaugurated by it, man is, without 
doubt, able to create a reality corresponding very exactly to 
the plan that he has previously worked out, and in this re- 
spect it is a "man-made world". 

The technical triumph of automation consists precisely in 
this, that it succeeds in making such a plan the "soul" that 
informs and directs an entire process of material production. 
For this reason there may be noted, in the process, controls, 
warnings, adjustments; and disturbances are discovered, just 
as in a living organism. And finally there is a flexibility and 
an adaptability proper to the process of production itself. 

It is not surprising, then, that certain people see in the 
progress of the natural sciences a possibility, on the basis of 
the- principle of automation, of ordering the very life of 
human society in accordance with a predetermined pro- 
gramme so as to cause it to be a "man-made world". 

But for social reality and its stable ordering, statistical and 
mathematical programmes will not suffice, however much the 
social sciences are inclined nowadays to such a unilateral con- 
ception of their purpose. Social life requires further and 
principally other forms of knowledge theology, philosophy 
and the sciences of man's spiritual life and of his history. . . . 

Automation involves, above all, the danger of confusing 
technical productivity with economic productivity. What it 
offers that is new and fascinating is the possibility of main- 
taining a continuous, uninterrupted process of production in 
industrial plants. 

Under this aspect it is clear that automation achieves a 
fantastic increase in the productive capacities. But will it, on 
the other hand, involve a true growth of productivity in the 
national economy? By this we mean a lasting and sure attain- 


ment of conditions which will make possible the material 
and human well-being of every member of the population, 
and in which all those who contribute immediately to the 
national economy with their labour, their property, their 
capital will receive a return corresponding to their invest- 

Further, such a state of economic production ought to be 
capable of giving an easy solution to social tensions. 

Will the transition to automation open the way to such a 
state of affairs? Anyone who studies the conditions of the 
technical process must see that these demand an immense 
capital and especially funds available for long-term loans. It 
must not be forgotten that there will also be a need for an 
ever-increasing number of specialists capable of setting up 
the programmes for such a complicated system of production 
and of carefully superintending its execution. Finally, an 
assured consumers* market will be more indispensable than 
ever. . . . 

We know that automation has not yet been properly tested 
as to its effects on genuine economic productivity on a 
national scale. Hence, the fact that automation came into 
being for the production of armaments, and still finds its best 
application in this field, goes to show only that its technical 
capacity to produce is incontestable. It might be added that 
it will be possible to consider the use of automation economic- 
ally in most countries only when disarmament frees capital 
and when the development of technology, accelerated mainly 
by the armaments race, will no longer make obsolete to- 
morrow what was yesterday considered an advance. 

Another important point regarding social life which must 
be carefully weighed is the technological unemployment 
which might well arise. . . . Some believe that this would be 
experienced for a short time only, because in the long run 
other possibilities of employment would open up with the 
growth of new industries, with the readaptation of the work- 
ing force to other positions, with the lessening of the hours 


of work without any corresponding loss of wages. This, they 
feel, would be accompanied by an increase of piecework and 
with a tendency to draw maximum profit, day and night, 
from extremely expensive plants. 

It would seem that such means might in the long run over- 
come technological unemployment. To tell the truth, how- 
ever, they would also tend to limit, to a great extent, the 
freedom of the worker. They would increase in certain situa- 
tions the differences between the various categories of 
workers, and would render impossible the observance of 
Sunday in the bosom of a man's family something that is 
already seriously threatened. It should also be asked whether 
these arrangements might not make automation a heavy bur- 
den on the economic productivity of the nation. 

But even if these problems could be satisfactorily solved 
in the long run, the fact remains that increase in technologic- 
al unemployment even for a brief period would represent in 
some countries a loss that could not be lightly incurred. 

In this area it is not at all legitimate to adopt the false 
principle which in the past impelled certain statesmen to 
sacrifice an entire generation in view of the great advantages 
that would accrue to succeeding ones. . . . 

More than ever the central problem is to harmonise the 
interests of employers and employees in order to make them 
conscious of their common share in a social economy that is 
developing the productive forces ever more harmoniously 
throughout the entire breadth and length of the nation, a 
social economy that is spreading in Europe and is available 
to the rest of the world. In such circumstances, only one word 
of advice is possible for the organised parties to the labour 
contract: it is better to bargain than to fight one another. 
This is the only conclusion they can adopt before their own 
consciences and the people at large. 

Above all, once automation has strongly modified working 
conditions, the question of wages will require a new 


approach. New criteria will have to be adopted to estimate 
the value of the paid worker, and new types of workers will 
have to be considered. These will present domestic problems 
for the trade unions and may even affect their present form, 
especially if it is borne in mind that in certain sectors of the 
national economy the working class will not in the future be 
notably affected by automation. 

The large number of such questions, on the one hand, and 
the marvellous techniques of automation on the other that 
is to say, this form of production that moves on without inter- 
ruption according to a comprehensive plan make many 
people think that the social problem of the age of automation 
cannot and ought not to be resolved except by the formula 
of Socialism, that is, by excluding the institution of private 
property at least in so far as this has been the basic norm for 
the well-ordered use of material goods. 

We have already alluded to the Marxist influence here. 
More extensive planning will undoubtedly be necessary both 
in the national and the European economies. But this cannot 
and need not be identical with a directed planning that Is 
more or less absolute. It cannot be, because the independence 
of the family and the freedom of the citizen are naturally 
bound up with a sound functioning of private property as a 
stabilising social institution. It need not be, if in men's inten- 
tions, as well as in their institutions, the bond of the common 
good makes itself felt ever more insistently and effectively in 
business firms, in the various fields of production, in the 
government and in parliament that is to say, wherever deci- 
sions are made that affect man and the economy. . . . 

It is said that automatic machinery will free the worker 
definitively from the monotony of labour, from the endless 
repetition of uniform motions; that the advance of mechan- 
ism will no longer impose upon him and his fellows the in- 
exorable rhythm of toil. He will feel himself to be the master 
of what is going on, which he supervises and verifies with 


responsibility and competence and which in case of need he 
has to repair. 

However, the hardships connected with labour will un- 
doubtedly overtake him in another form. There will be situa- 
tions in which he will have to maintain his vigilance hour 
after hour, alone and with tensed nerves, over the wondrous 
functioning of automatic production. The Scriptural sen- 
tence, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread", will not 
be done away with even in the new era of automation, but 
will remain true in different ways. 

The worker will no longer be able to specialise in one field. 
He will have to be intellectually and professionally adaptable 
in order to comprehend the functioning and co-ordination of 
the most varied kinds of apparatus. In this way, judging from 
previous experience, the number of unskilled workers will 
gradually decrease, while the number of educated and fully 
trained workers will continue to grow in the same proportion. 
. . . This means, of course, that there will always be a need of 
more intellectual versatility, vocational training and confi- 
dent readiness to assume responsibility. . . . 

This educational process must be adapted with a sure 
touch to the needs of technical progress and must provide a 
sound professional theory and practice. But since it is a true 
education, it must embrace the whole man, because in the 
procedures of the modern economy the qualities of character 
in the worker possess a determining importance. ... It is 
essential that his professional training, and before that his 
schooling, should have imparted to him a sufficient general 

We believe that a worker so trained will be able to resolve 
the problem of what to do with the added leisure that auto- 
mation will give him. A man who has grasped thoroughly 
the religious, moral and professional meaning of work will 
likewise understand the meaning of free time and will be 
able to use it to advantage. He will also be saved from the 


false notion that a man works in order to enjoy leisure. In 
reality a man has leisure apart from the natural and honour- 
able rest from toil which is needed to enable him to perfect 
his faculties and the better to fulfil his religious, social and 
domestic duties in order to make him physically and men- 
tally more competent in his work. 


Pope Pius XII in his addresses on scientific topics of course 
dealt mainly with their spiritual and moral aspects. When the 
delegates to the Congress of the International Astronautical 
Federation the Spacemen went to the Papal summer resi- 
dence at Castel Gandolfo in 1956, the Pope turned to a ques- 
tion exercising the minds of vast numbers of people the 
lawfulness of trying to reach far beyond what the human 
imagination had previously thought possible to make actual 
personal contact with heavenly bodies which before could 
only be reached by the eye. 

September $1, 1956. 

The Lord God, Who has placed an insatiable desire for 
knowledge in the heart of man had no intention of setting 
a limit to his efforts of conquest when He said: "Subdue the 
earth" He has entrusted the whole of creation to these efforts, 
offering it to the human mind until it could penetrate the 
mysteries of creation, and thus understand ever more clearly 
and profoundly the infinite greatness of its Creator. 

If until now man has felt himself to be, so to say, closed in 
on the earth, and has had to be content with fragmentary 
information which came to him out of the universe, it seems 
now that he is being offered the possibility of breaking this 
barrier and having access to new truths and new knowledge 
which God has spread in profusion throughout the world. 

Motives of mere curiosity or adventure will never succeed 
in correctly directing efforts of such magnitude. The con- 
science must orientate itself in the face of the new situations 


SPACE 191 

which attract the intellectual development of humanity. Man 
must closely examine Ms knowledge of himself and of God, 
so that he may the better take his true place in the world, 
and the better to judge the meaning of his actions. 

This common effort by humanity towards a peaceful con- 
quest of the universe should help to impress more firmly in 
men's consciences the sense of community and solidarity, so 
that they should all have a greater awareness of themselves 
as constituting the great family of God, of being the children 
of the same Father. 

To penetrate this truth, there is as much need for respect 
for the truth, for subjection to reality, and for courage, as in 
scientific research. The most audacious explorations of space, 
if they are not accompanied by a more profound moral reflec- 
tion and a more conscientious attitude of abnegation to the 
higher interests of humanity, will serve only to introduce a 
new fermenting agent of division. 

We wish most sincerely that the present Congress may 
enable you to progress along a path that is still long and diffi- 
cult, and we wish, above all, that the vastness of the spiritual 
discoveries that you will make in the process will be no less 
than the vastness of the scientific experience. 

From an Address to the Papal Academy of Science on February 8, 1948, 
on "The Natural Laws and the Divine Government of the World": 

Turn aside, for the moment, from the use of atomic energy 
in war, and confidently cherish the hope that it will on the 
contrary serve only to make safe the ways of peace. Here one 
must needs regard it as an investigation and a truly happy 
application of those laws of nature which govern the essence 
and intimate activity of matter. . . . 

Law bespeaks order, and universal law bespeaks order in 
things both great and small. . . . 

This tells us of the ordering Mind in the one Spirit that has 
created the universe, and on Whom "the heavens and the 
whole of Nature depend", an order which the tendencies and 


energies of matter received with their being. Working to- 
gether, these make a well-ordered world. Such is the 
wonderful system of natural laws which the human mind 
has discovered, thanks to untiring experimental research and 
deeper pondering. . . . 

What is this system of laws but a faint and imperfect image 
of the great Divine plan conceived by the creative spirit of 
God as a law of this universe from all eternity? Then it was 
that, from the fathomless depths of His wisdom, He fashioned 
the heavens and the earth, and then His creative power made 
light shine over the dark chaos in which the universe was 
cradled. He left the impress of His creative hand on time and 
the centuries, giving movement and flight, and He bestowed 
life and activity on all things in their species and genus, even 
down to the imponderable atom. . . . 

The scientist, when his research discloses to him that the 
universe is fashioned like a casting in the immeasurable forge 
of time and space, feels, as it were, the throb of this eternal 
wisdom. Not only are the starry heavens in their splendours 
composed of identical elements, but they obey, always and 
everywhere, in their inward and outward activity, the same 
fundamental cosmic laws. The atoms of iron under the im- 
pulse of the arc or the electric spark send forth thousands of 
well-defined rays. These are identical with those which the 
astrophysicists discover in the so-called flash-spectrum a few 
moments before the total eclipse of the sun. The same laws 
of gravitation and of the pressure of radiation determine the 
quantity of the mass for the formation of the solar bodies 
throughout the vast spaces of the universe, yes, even to the 
most distant nebulae. The same mysterious laws of the atom- 
nucleus regulate, through the composition and disintegration 
of the atom, the economy of energy in all the fixed stars. 

We observe this absolute unity of design and of place in 
the organic world again, on a no less imposing scale, in living 
things. . . . We can see in living beings the same basic laws of 
assimilation, of change and of generation. 

SPACE 193 

Does not all this strikingly reveal one general unifying 
idea splendidly realised in all their varied forms? Do we not 
see here, closed and absolutely fixed, one planned system of 
natural laws?. . . 

This Divine government of the created universe, with its 
universal and particular lower orders, cannot fail to excite 
wonder and enthusiasm in the scientific investigator. For in 
his research he discovers and recognises the marks of the 
Creator's wisdom and of the Supreme Lawgiver of heaven 
and earth, Whose unseen hand pilots the natures of all things 
"across the mighty sea of being to those different harbours 
whither they are led by an instinct Divinely bestowed". 

What, indeed, are these mighty laws of Nature if they are 
not a shadow and, in some way, a faint image of the depth 
and immensity of the Divine plan in the vast cathedral of the 

"The highest privilege of the scientist," wrote Keppler, "is 
to recognise the Spirit and to trace the thought of God/* Cer- 
tainly, the more deeply research workers and learned men 
go in their study of the wonders of Nature, the more readily 
they recognise their own insufficiency either to penetrate or 
to exhaust the riches of God's structural plan and of the 
norms and laws of its government. Listen again to those 
beautiful words of the great Newton, who so shrewdly said : 
"I do not know how I appear to the world, but I see myself 
as a child playing by the seaside who is glad because every 
now and again he finds a pebble smoother than the rest or 
a shell more fascinating, while the mighty ocean of truth 
rolls unexplored before him". 

Following newer and wider paths, mankind is marching 
on ceaselessly towards deeper knowledge of the explored and 
unexplored laws of the universe. Man thirsts for truth and 
presses forward in search of it. Yet even thousands of years 
hence, human knowledge of the internal laws and dynamic 
forces of matter, of the origin and development of the world 
and, still more, of the design and Divine impulse that 

13 G.F.L. 


penetrates, moves and directs everything, will for ever remain 
an imperfect and faint participation of the Divine idea. . . . 

Happy indeed are the learned if, making their way across 
the vast spaces of heaven and earth, they know how to read 
the great book of Nature and to listen to its message. It is a 
message that traces the Divine footprints in creation and in 
its history. These footprints of God and the letters written 
by His hand cannot be blotted out. No human hand can 
remove them. These footprints and letters are none other 
than the facts which reveal to every man the work of God. . . . 

One of the inscriptions adorning the tomb of the great 
astronomer Angelo Secchi contained these words: "A coeli 
conspectu ad Deum via brevis" From the contemplation of 
the heavens, short is the way to God. 

The Divine wisdom of which we have spoken is an infinite 
reality. This is the Wisdom that knows and measures each 
smallest atom, with all its energies, assigning to each its place 
in the compact structure of the created world. This is the 
Sovereign Wisdom Whose glory penetrates the whole universe 
and is seen in all its splendour in the firmament of heaven. 


Pope Pius XIFs interest in the stars may be dated back to 
the time when he was a boy serving at the altar in the Chiesa 
Nuova. There he was a member of a small circle of boys who 
came under the influence of a distinguished priest-astronomer, 
Fr. Lais, who occasionally took them to look at the stars 
through his telescope. 

Then, when he had become Pope, he had close at hand 
first in the Vatican Gardens, later at Castel Gandolfo the 
Vatican Observatory, which in 1956 completed a great map 
of the heavens (copies of which were sent to 100 observatories 
in various countries) and is now making a special study of 
the Milky Way. 

In May, 1957, His Holiness spoke to astronomers who had 
met in Rome for discussions sponsored by the Papal Academy 
of Science. 

Astronomy, with other physical sciences whose wonderful 
development is astounding our age, is now passing through a 
period of the most prolific investigation and discovery. In 
this gathering of distinguished scholars and tireless explorers 
into the marvels of creation, we feel an intense desire to sing 
again the song the Lord places on the lips of all who receive 
from Him the gift of life, intelligence and love: "The 
heavens tell the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims 
the work of His hands." 

You intend to begin with a study of the exterior galaxies 
and then go on to a detailed discussion of the system of the 



Milky Way, In the problem you are considering, the first 
elements of a solution were found in the exterior galaxies, 
though very recently a great deal has been learned about our 
own galaxy. Thus, Dutch astronomers have succeeded in 
localising the arms of the spiral, thanks to the observation of 
the radio-electric waves released by the hydrogen within it. 
The stars of our system are also much less distant than those 
of the exterior galaxies. The astronomer is able to study them 
more easily and is working harder to determine their bright- 
ness, their spectra, their movements and their distribution in 

A great part of this knowledge can be acquired only with 
the help of the most powerful means at your disposal. For 
example, the study of globular masses, so full of information 
about the populations of Type II, has profited by the func- 
tions of the reflector of 5 m. from Mount Palomar. All the 
same, excellent work can be done with more modest instru- 
ments, particularly in the study of variable stars, to which, 
we are happy to remark, the Vatican Observatory has made 
valuable contributions. 

With regard to the constellation of Cephus, a precious 
source of information about the problem of stellar popula- 
tions, we are still awaiting a more exact estimate of their 
number in the different parts of the galaxy, as well as of their 
spectra, their movements and the technique of their changes. 

As for the flashing stars, those astonishing luminaries which 
are seen suddenly growing bigger, sparkling intensely for a 
more or less short time, and then returning to their original 
brilliance, undoubtedly someone will discover something new 
about them and will succeed in explaining better their be- 
haviour and their distribution. . . . 

The variation of age which you attach to the different types 
also implies a significance of the highest interest. While the 
stars of population II number about five thousand million 
years that is, almost the age of the universe itself popula- 
tion I seems at the most some tens of million years old. 


It is natural that the blue super-giants, which constantly 
release a considerable amount of energy in the form of heat 
and light, should pay for this prodigality by the relatively 
rapid exhaustion of their reserves, while ancient stars like the 
sun are more sparing of their resources, although as yet the 
amount of energy continually emitted by the sun appears to 
be enormous. 

You will perhaps succeed in discovering stars still younger 
than those now known, or even who knows? to see the 
generation of stars. . . , 

Tirelessly to seek exact facts, to elaborate theories in order 
to explain them, to verify theory by new observations, to 
correct theory when necessary, to replace theory by another 
that is more perfect, taking account of acquired data such is 
the unceasing work of the astronomer, work that seems 
gigantic even to those outside this field. . . 

But, then, even though he holds in his hand the keys that 
will open doors to him, the astronomer's task will still be far 
from ended, not only because the evolution of a stellar world 
unceasingly renews the object of his interest but also because 
the truth that limits his zeal in reality fulfils a plan superior 
to that of scientific research. . . . The astronomer, like all 
other scholars, like the engineer grappling with modern appli- 
cations of electronics or nuclear energy, and like the humblest 
of intellectual or manual workers, seeks a truth that far sur- 
passes that of mathematical calculus, general laws of physics, 
or material quantities to measure, move and dominate. What 
would the immensity of the universe be its splendour, its 
organisation without the Intelligence that contemplation 
reveals in it, and which sees the universe as a reflection of 
itself? Is not what man reads in the stars the symbol of his 
own greatness, but a symbol that also invites him to mount 
higher, to seek elsewhere the meaning of his existence? 

Modern scientific thought is not in the habit of shrinking 
back from any problem, and that is right as long as it remains 
in its own order. But, since the moral universe transcends the 


physical world, every acquisition of science is established on 
a plane lower than the absolute ends of the personal destiny 
of man and the bonds that unite him to God. Scientific truth 
becomes a snare the moment it believes itself sufficient to 
explain everything without connecting it with other truths, 
above all the subsisting Truth, which is a living and creative 

The work of the scholar, however disinterested and 
courageous, loses its highest fulfilment if he ceases to look 
beyond purely intellectual goals to those that his conscience 
sets before him the decisive choice between good and evil, 
the serious direction of his life towards the achievement of 
spiritual values, of justice and charity, of that charity, above 
all, that is not mere philanthropy or a mere feeling of human 
solidarity, but which proceeds from a Divine source, the 
Revelation of Jesus Christ. 

Happy is the man who can read in the stars the message 
they contain, a message of power commensurate with Him 
Who has written it, worthy of rewarding the seeker for his 
tenacity and skill but also inviting him to recognise the One 
Who gives truth and life, and makes His dwelling in the 
hearts of those who adore Him and love Him. 


Pope Pius XII was a personal friend of Marconi. When he 
was Papal Secretary of State His Holiness visited the inven- 
tor's radio yacht "Elettra" to go over the apparatus aboard, 
and went all the way there again to baptise Marconi's 
daughter. After he had become Pope he gave the child her 
first Holy Communion and confirmed her. 

After preliminary tests in the Vatican,, Pope Pius XII gave 
his first telecast when he delivered his. Easter message in 
1949. Five years later, on New Year's Day, he sent an 
exhortation about television to the Archbishops and Bishops 
of Italy. 

The rapid progress television has already made in many 
countries draws our attention more and more to this mar- 
vellous instrument which science and technology offer to 
mankind. For it will have a profound influence for good or 
evil upon public life. ... It puts before the public a whole 
new series of delicate and urgent problems of conscience. 

Let us fully acknowledge, Venerable Brothers, the worth 
of this splendid scientific conquest, for it is another mani- 
festation of the admirable greatness of God, "which He re- 
veals to man in order to be honoured in His wondrous works". 
So television too calls forth our gratitude, a duty which the 
Church never tires of stressing to her children every day in 
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, telling them: "It is really 
worthy and just, right and salutary, always and everywhere to 
give thanks to God" for His gifts. . . . 



In recent times the cinema, sport, not to mention the dire 
necessities of daily work, have increasingly tended to keep 
members o the family away from home, and thus the natural 
flowering of domestic life has been hindered. We must be 
glad, then, that television contributes in effect to re-establish- 
ing the balance by providing the whole family with an oppor- 
tunity for honest diversion together, away from the dangers 
of bad company and places. 

Nor may we be indifferent to the benefits which television 
can bring in social matters, in relation to culture, to popular 
education, to teaching in schools, in the international life of 
people, for it will certainly help them to a greater mutual 
knowledge and understanding and promote more cordial 
feelings and better co-operation. 

Nevertheless, it is the part which television will not fail 
to play in spreading the Gospel message that we wish to dwell 
upon especially. In this respect consoling results that have 
accompanied the industry of Catholics in countries which 
have had television for some time are known to us. 

Who can foresee the nature and magnitude of the new 
fields opened to the Catholic apostolate when television 
stations established all over the world will be able to bring 
into still closer view the throbbing life of the Church? It is 
our earnest hope that the spiritual links which bind the great 
Christian family will then be drawn still tighter, and that the 
use of this marvellous instrument to spread the light of the 
Gospel in the minds of men will be followed by a greater 
knowledge, a deeper understanding and a wider extension of 
the reign of God upon earth. 

Such considerations, however, should not make one forget 
another aspect of this delicate and important question. . . . 
The theatre and cinema are limited to those who go of their 
own free choice, whereas television aims especially at family 
groups persons of every age, both sexes, different education 
and moral training. 

Like the radio, it can enter at any time, any home and any 


place, bringing not only sounds and words but the detailed 
vividness and action of pictures, which makes it more capable 
of moving the emotions, especially of young people. More- 
over, television programmes are largely made up of films and 
stage productions, too few of which, as experience has shown, 
can fully satisfy the standards of Christian and natural moral 
law. Finally, it should be noted that television's most eager 
and rapt devotees are children and adolescents who, because 
of their youth, are more apt to feel its fascination and, con- 
sciously or unconsciously, translate into real life the phan- 
tasms they have absorbed from the life-like pictures on the 
screen. . . . 

When we think of the incalculable worth of the family, the 
very cell of society, and reflect that the physical and spiritual 
development of the child the precious hope of the Church 
and the nation must be started and carried out in the home, 
we cannot fail to proclaim to all who have any position of 
responsibility in television that their duties and responsibili- 
ties are most grave before God and before society 

Constantly before our mind is the painful spectacle of the 
power of films for evil and moral ruin. How, then, can we not 
be horrified at the thought that this poisoned atmosphere of 
materialism, frivolity and pleasure-seeking which is found too 
often in so many theatres can, through television, be brought 
into the very sanctuary of the home? Truly one cannot 
imagine anything more fatal to the spiritual health of a 
country than to perform in front of so many innocent souls 
even within the family circle those lurid scenes of forbidden 
pleasure, passion and evil which can undermine a formation 
of purity, goodness and healthy personal and social upbring- 
ing, and bring it to lasting ruin. . . . 

Here especially one sees the baselessness of the pretended 
rights to the absolute freedom of art, or of appealing to the 
pretext of freedom of information and thought, because here, 
higher values are at stake which must be safeguarded. Those 
who offend against these values cannot escape the penalties 


threatened by the Divine Saviour: "Woe to the world because 
of scandals . . . woe to that man by whom scandals cometh!* 

When there are abuses and evils, it is not enough for 
Catholics to remain content with merely deploring them. 
These abuses must be brought to the attention of the public 
authorities in precise and documented particulars. Indeed, It 
must be admitted that one of the reasons less noticed, per- 
haps, but nonetheless real for the spread of so much 
immorality is not the lack of regulations but the lack of 
reaction or weak reaction of good people who have not known 
how to make timely denunciation of violations against the 
public laws of morality. 

However, your efforts would be still far from fully satisfy- 
ing our desires and our hopes if they were restricted simply 
to setting up safeguards against evil and did not result in- 
stead in a vigorous accomplishment of good. The goal we 
wish to point out to you is that television should not only be 
morally irreproachable but may also become an instrument 
of Christian education. 

Part Four 

Letters for Laymen 



As well as addressing messages to Bishops* priests and 
groups of laity, the Pope occasionally wrote a letter person- 
ally to a layman expounding the Church's teaching on current 
affairs. Such letters are included in this part of the book, 
together with the Holy Father's addresses of guidance to 
different classes of the community. 

Letter to M. Charles Flory, president of the Catholic Social Week, 
for the conferences on the increase of wealth and destitution and the 
distribution of national income, July 5, 1952 : 

A fairer distribution of wealth is and remains part of the 
programme of the social doctrine of the Church. We are not 
proposing anything new. Our immediate predecessor, con- 
tinuing the teaching of Leo XIII, wrote in 1931 : "Each one 
must receive his due share, and the distribution of created 
goods must be brought into conformity with the demands of 
the common good or social justice. For every sincere observer 
is conscious that, because of the vast difference between the 
few who hold excessive wealth and the many who live in 
destitution, the distribution of wealth is today greatly defec- 
tive." And Pius XI urged the responsible authorities to ''make 
every effort" to ensure that the material goods so abundantly 
produced in our age of industrialism are more equitably 

We are indeed pleased to acknowledge that for several 
decades, thanks to persevering effort and progress in social 
legislation, the disparity in social conditions has in general 



been greatly reduced, at times to a notable degree. But In 
consequence of the war this problem has become more acute. 
It now exists on a world scale, where the contrast is still 
striking and is aggravated by the new desires which a more 
lively appreciation of the inequality of conditions between 
peoples of different countries, between classes and even be- 
tween people of the same class, awakens in the heart of the 

Indeed, we have ourself deplored on several occasions 
recently the intolerable increase in expenditure on articles of 
luxury, as well as in superfluous and unreasonable expendi- 
ture which contrasts harshly with the destitution of vast num- 
bers from among the working classes of town and country or 
from among the crowd of ordinary people who are styled 
"economically weak". . . . 

When dealing with this subject of wealth and destitution, 
can we fail to have before our eyes the enduring lessons of 
the Scriptures, addressed to the possessors of worldly goods 
who are so easily tempted to find their delight in their posses- 
sions and to abuse them? The Gospel everywhere urges de- 
tachment as a condition of salvation. . . . What, then, shall be 
said of those wealthy oppressors upon whom St. James pours 
out his solemn denunciation: "You have kept back the pay 
of the workmen who reaped your lands, and it is there to cry 
out against you: the Lord of hosts has listened to their 
complaint/' . . . 

To be really genuine, charity must always keep in mind the 
establishment of justice, and not be satisfied with lessening 
the disorder and shortcomings of an order of things that is 

The purpose of the economic and social organism to which 
reference must here be made is to procure for its members 
and their families all the goods that the resources of nature 
and industry, as well as a social organisation of economic life, 
have the means of obtaining for them. The encyclical "Quad- 
ragesimo Anno" is specific: "These goods should be suffici- 


ently plentiful to supply what is necessary for an honest liveli- 
hood and to raise men to that degree of comfort which, 
provided prudent use be made of it, is no obstacle to the 
practice of virtue but, on the contrary, makes its exercise 
very much easier." 

But if it is true that to fulfil this obligation the surest and 
most natural means is to bring about an increase of available 
goods by a healthy development in production, it is necessary 
at the same time, whilst pursuing this end, to take care that 
the fruits of everyone's labours are justly rewarded. "If such 
a just distribution of goods were not brought about, or but 
imperfectly so, the real end of national economy would not 
be attained; since, despite the rich plenty of available goods, 
the people, having no share in it, would not be rich but 

This basic distribution is realised primarily and normally 
by virtue of the continuous economic and social processes we 
have just mentioned; and for a vast number of men it is the 
sources of the wages they receive as the recompense of their 
labour. But it must not be overlooked that, from the point 
of view of the national economy, these wages are in effect the 
employed person's income. Employers and employed are here 
co-operating in the same work. Both are called to live on the 
net and gross profit of the economy, and under this aspect 
their mutual relationship in no way places the one at the 
service of the other. We have said: "The receiving of a salary 
is a prerogative of the personal dignity of anyone who, in one 
form or another . . . lends his productive aid to the output 
of the national economy." 

However, for all "to eat at the same table", so to speak, it 
is clearly right, whilst taking into account differences of 
office and responsibility, that each one's share should match 
the dignity common to man; that, in particular, it should 
allow a greater number to arrive at that state of independence 

* Pope Pius XII, June i, 1941. 


and security which results from private ownership, and to 
share with their families in the spiritual and cultural benefits 
to which earthly possessions are intended to lead. 

Moreover, if owners and workers have a common interest 
in the healthy prosperity of the national economy, why should 
it be not lawful to give the workers a just share of responsi- 
bility in the establishment and development of that 
economy? . . . 

One cannot meet the needs of social life by allowing free 
play to blind economic forces. The matter must be considered 
at the level of the national economy since it is at that level 
that a clear view is gained of the end to be aimed at in the 
service of the common temporal good. But whoever follows 
this line of reasoning is led to ask himself what are the normal, 
yet restricted, duties of the State. 

In the first place, the duty of increasing production and 
proportioning it wisely according to the need and dignity of 
man immediately poses the question of the direction of 
economy with respect to production. The public authority, 
without substituting its oppressive might for the lawful auto- 
nomy of private initiative, undeniably plays a role of co- 
ordination, which is all the more necessary because of the 
confusion that exists in prevailing conditions, especially in 
social conditions. 

In particular, without its help, an over-all policy favour- 
able to the active co-operation of all and the increase in pro- 
duction of business enterprises, which are the direct source 
of national income, cannot be established. Then, when there 
is so much wealth lying dormant or lost through waste, but 
which, if put into circulation, could help by prudent and 
profitable use towards the wellbeing of innumerable families, 
is it not true that timely aid in restoring confidence, in stimu- 
lating credit, in discouraging selfishness and thus favouring 
a better balance of economic life, makes for the common 

Now it is also the peculiar function of the State to take 


care lest the very poor suffer unjustly Leo XIII observed: 

"For the rich, their wealth is a shield, and they stand less in 
need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor 
have no resources of their own to fall back upon and chiefly 
depend upon the assistance of the State/ 1 . . . 

Turning aside alike from the errors of liberalism and 
"stateism", the Church urges you to pursue your researches 
along the lines she has often traced out. We ourself declared 
recently: "The overwhelming evil of the social order is that 
it is neither soundly Christian nor truly human, but merely 
technical and economic, and that it is in no way established 
upon what is its real basis and the solid foundation of its 
unity, that is to say, upon that title of human beings which 
we possess In common from our nature and of sons of God by 
the grace of Divine adoption" 

Apostolic Exhortation to the Priests of the World, September 25, 

. . . There are some who become fearful and hesitant when 
faced with the wickedness of Communism, which aims to rob 
the faith from those very people to whom it promises material 
prosperity. . . . Others show themselves no less timid and hesi- 
tant in the face of that economic system which is known as 
Capitalism. The Church has not failed to denounce the grave 
consequences that can follow from it. 

The Church has not only called attention to the wrong use 
of capital and of the right to property promoted and defended 
by this system, but has insisted just as much that capital and 
private property must be a means of production for the 
benefit of the whole of society and of sustaining and defend- 
ing the freedom and dignity of the human person. 

The errors inherent in both economic systems should con- 
vince everybody, priests in particular, that they ought to 
uphold faithfully the social teaching of the Church, to spread 
the knowledge of it and to show how it can be applied in 
practice. This teaching is the only remedy for the evils we 

14 G.F.L. 


have denounced, evils, unhappily, so widespread. This teach- 
ing shows the unity and perfection of the demands of justice 
and the duties of charity, and promotes a social order which 
does not serve to oppress individuals and isolate them in 
blind selfishness but brings everybody together in harmony 
and in the bonds of close brotherhood. 

The priest, following the example of his Divine Master, 
must go out to meet the poor, the working class, and all those 
who are in trouble and misery. Among these latter are many 
of the middle class and some of his brother-priests. 

Nor must he overlook those who, although possessed of 
worldly goods, are often the poorest in spirit and have need 
of being called to spiritual renewal. 



Probably no documents are better known among the most 
responsible trade union leaders. Catholic and non-Catholic, 
and especially the policy-makers among them, than an en- 
cyclical letter written by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, and another 
written in 1931 by Pope Pius XL Many a Catholic union 
leader statesmen and politicians, too keeps copies of them 
within hand's reach for reference; many can quote long 
passages from them by heart. 

The first letter (since encyclicals are always identified 
officially by their first two or three words) is known as 
"Rerum Novarum", and the second "Quadragesimo Anno" 
(since Pope Pius XI wrote it on the occasion of the ^oth anni- 
versary of the appearance of Pope Leo's encyclical). Both Pope 
Pius XI and Pope Pius XII often described the first letter as 
the worker's "Magna Carta". 

On May i, 1955, for the tenth anniversary of the Catholic 
Associations, of Italian Workers, 150,000 workers gathered in 
St. Peter's Square to listen to an address by the Holy Father. 
It was then that His Holiness announced his decision to 
institute the new liturgical feast of St. Joseph the Worker,, to 
be celebrated each year on May Day. 

Two years earlier, on Ascension Day, May 14, 1953, the 
Holy Father had addressed thousands of workers in St. Peter's. 

Beloved sons, today the Church recalls the Ascension of 
Christ into Heaven. Since the morning of Easter the Sacred 
Liturgy has resounded with one grand melody and joyful 


harmony, in which Alleluia has always been the dominant 
note, echoed in every Christian soul and in every choir of 
the faithful. 

If today that song of joy and praise is still sung, it is not 
without a certain note of suppressed sadness. Jesus has left 
His disciples and ascended into Heaven; He will send down 
the Holy Ghost; meanwhile He Himself no longer is seen in 
their midst. Now, as the Apostles continued to gaze upon 
Jesus as He was lifted up and then hidden behind the cloud, 
behold there appeared two angels clothed in white garments, 
who said to them: "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking 
up to Heaven?' Thus did they bid the Apostles not to keep 
gazing upwards to no purpose, for now it is the earth that 
awaits them, where there is the path that will lead them to 
their goal, where lies the vineyard to be cultivated by them, 
where also is the battlefield whereon they must wage their 
peaceful warfare. Yes, one day they will see Jesus coming 
again from Heaven in great power and majesty. 

The sound of these words brings to mind another question 
which you have heard asked who knows how many times, in 
quite the opposite sense: "Why do you men stand looking up 
to Heaven? There is no Heaven; it would therefore be useless 
to hope to arrive there. There is no God; the soul is not 
immortal. Look, then, rather upon the earth with its prob- 
lems. Occupy yourselves with trying to find solutions for them 
here below. Do not look up to Heaven; and if anyone wishes 
to have paradise, let him strive in every way possible to make 
it for himself in this life" 

"You men, do not look up to Heaven; think only of things 
of earth." This saying, which has moved and continues to 
move people of the most varied social conditions, has been 
for many decades, and still is today, the most dangerous and 
deadly weapon of assault upon the souls of so many workers, 
who are playing a principal part in the drama of the modern 
world. Today many of them have forgotten about Heaven. 
They persist in busying themselves only with things of earth, 


clamouring for the earth to be transformed Into a paradise, 
where nothing will be lacking, where the human heart will 
enjoy freedom from anxiety and have filled the void which 
torments it. 

In point of fact, however, this paradise has seemed always 
less and less attainable upon earth. On the one hand, men 
who possess all the comforts of wealth have not, for all that, 
acquired the happiness which they so eagerly desire, and are 
very often without even the least quiet and peace. On the 
other hand, those who live without God, ready perhaps only 
to blaspheme and curse Him, and not having the supreme 
comfort that supernatural faith alone can give, however 
painful the trial, groan in a torment of unrest and revolt. 

Beloved sons, most dearly beloved workers, this very day of 
this year has been very suitably chosen for the customary 
commemoration of "Rerum Novarum". It is noteworthy that 
the thoughts inspired by today's great festival are the same, 
in some measure, as the teaching contained in the memor- 
able encyclical of the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII, of sacred 
memory, for they express the basic thought of the Church 
on the labour question. 

But perhaps someone will ask did not he direct the 
attention of every believing person, of every upright man, 
not precisely towards Heaven but rather towards the present 
life, towards the sad condition of the wage-earner of that time, 
in the midst of industrialism still very disorganised and un- 
controlled? Has he not pleaded powerfully, in the name of 
Christ, for reform, for the bettering of earthly conditions and 
institutions? Did he not utter to the owners of the means of 
production and the heads of business enterprises that reproof 
worth repeating even today, that "Neither Divine nor human 
laws allow one to oppress, for one's own gain, the needy and 
unfortunate, or to trade on the misery of another"? Did not 
that most wise Pontiff show precisely how the true Christian 
life was linked with the right order of this world when, 
making words of St. Thomas Aquinas his own, he confirmed 


in "Rerum Novarum" that the use of earthly goods "is neces- 
sary for the exercise of virtue", and therefore for the leading 
on earth of a Christian life worthy of man? 

Yes, that is so. While Leo XIII sent forth his cry of truth 
and justice regarding the labour question, he wanted men, 
and particularly the workers, to remain with both feet on the 
ground. Here below they were bound, as Christians, to take 
an interest in right order. However, man, whom God created 
and saved, cannot keep his two feet on the ground without 
keeping his eyes raised towards God, towards the real end of 
human life, namely, union with God in Heaven, where alone 
all order and all justice will definitely be achieved. There- 
fore, those men who, in thought or deed, give themselves 
completely to this world, or who even deny the existence of 
the heavenly home, have no solid foundation even in this 
world, even though they may seem to have one or may them- 
selves boast of their alleged realism. 

A true human order cannot be perfect nor brought to 
perfection here below unless it be directed towards the here- 
after. This is one of the essential ideas of "Reram Novarum". 
"It is not possible**, the encyclical says, "to understand and 
appreciate properly the things of earth if the mind be not 
lifted to the contemplation of another life, namely, the 
eternal life, without which the true notion of moral good is 
necessarily lost sight of and, what is of first importance, the 
universe becomes an inexplicable mystery." 

Certain Catholics, when advocating a new social order, are 
mistaken when they say that social reform must come first of 
all and that afterwards care will be taken of the religious and 
moral life of the individual and society. The first cannot in 
fact be separated from the second, because this world cannot 
be disjoined from the other, nor can man, who is a living 
whole, be split into two parts. Leo XIII, that great champion 
of the Christian worker, has very clearly pointed out to him 
that the way he must tread is that of a genuine Christianity. . . . 

Today . . . care is taken to promote human relationship in 


production, even though not always for very noble motives 
and by methods that are more theoretical than practical. Yet 
here again errors would have been avoided if the wise guidance 
of Leo XIII and of the Church had been followed and the 
worker had been taken for what he really is a brother of 
Christ and co-heir to Heaven. It is painful, therefore, to note 
today how certain Catholics are unwilling to find a place in 
their enterprises for the wondrous wealth of Christian 
humanism, and how they substitute for it a colourless form 
of humanism empty of all Christian faith. By so doing they 
exchange riches for poverty and the real thing for the 



Broadcast to thousands of workers assembled in Madrid and other 
centres to consecrate themselves to Christ the Redeemer and to demon- 
strate their loyalty and devotion to the Vicar of Christ, March 11, 1951: 

You are surely awaiting a few words from us to tell you 
what the Church can offer you for the security of your lives 
and the fulfilment of your fairest hopes. We would speak to 
you with fatherly affection. Here, then, are three points we 
wish to stress : 

i. Nobody can charge the Church with indifference re- 
garding working class problems and social questions, nor can 
they say that we have not given to these questions the im- 
portance they deserve. For the past sixty years few questions 
have caused the Church more anxiety than these, ever since 
our great predecessor Leo XIII, with his encyclical letter 
"Rerum Novarum", placed in the hands of workers the 
Magna Carta of their rights. 

The Church is and always has been fully aware of her own 
responsibility. The social problem cannot be solved without 
the Church. Yet the Church cannot solve it by herself. She 
needs co-operation from the intellectual, economic and 
technical ability of those holding public authority. 

On her part she has offered far-reaching and carefully 
considered schemes to provide religious and moral founda- 
tions for any social system. Social laws in different countries 
are in the main mostly adaptations of principles already 
established by the Church. Moreover, do not forget that all 
that is good and just in other organisations is also to be found 



in Catholic sociology. Thus, when those organisations pro- 
pose a goal to the workers and the Church rejects it, it is 
always because the goal proposed is a delusive one and is in 
conflict with truth, human dignity, social justice and the true 
welfare of every citizen. 

2. The Church, in her two thousand years of life, has been 
compelled to live among social structures of great variety, be- 
ginning with that oldest society where slavery existed, and 
now in the modern economic system known now by the terms 
capitalism and proletarianism. 

The Church has never preached social revolution; but 
everywhere and always, ever since St. Paul wrote his epistle 
to Philemon down to the social teaching of the Popes in the 
igth and 2Oth centuries, she has steadily striven for this aim, 
namely, that man himself should be given more consideration 
than economic or technical gain, and that all those who work 
as they can may be able to lead a Christian life and one 
worthy of a human being. 

For this reason the Church upholds the right to private 
ownership, and she looks upon this right as fundamental and 

Nevertheless, she insists too upon the necessity of a fairer 
distribution of property, and she denounces anything that is 
opposed to man's nature in any social system in which there 
is a small group of privileged, very wealthy people side by 
side with a very large impoverished population. 

There will always be economic differences. Yet all those in 
a position of authority should aim at bringing about a situa- 
tion in which all people who do their best may not find 
merely a livelihood but the means of saving. 

Many circumstances could contribute to a wider distribu- 
tion of property. The chief factor, however, will always be a 
just wage. You know well, dear children, that both a fair 
wage and a better distribution of natural wealth are among 
the most pressing demands in the Church's social scheme. 

She approves and encourages anything that, in so far as 


present conditions allow, tends to bring into the contract o 
work the characteristics of a social contract for the betterment 
of the general condition of working men. 

The Church likewise encourages everything that helps to 
make intercourse between employers and employed more 
human, more Christian, more conducive to mutual trust. 

Class warfare can never be a social aim. Discussions be- 
tween employers and employed must aim chiefly at friendly 
and orderly co-operation. 

3. But only those who live their faith and fulfil their duty 
with a Christlike spirit can carry out such a work. 

To find a solution for social conflict has never been easy. 
Now the unspeakable calamities of the present century have 
made it painfully difficult. Reconciliation between classes, 
willingness for mutual sacrifice and respect, simplicity of life, 
the avoidance of all extravagance, so damaging to the present 
economic situation all this, and much else, can be attained 
only through God's Providence and grace. 

Therefore, be men of prayer. Raise up your hands to God 
in order that through His mercy, and in spite of all diffi- 
culties, this formidable task may be accomplished. 

On this occasion we cannot fail to say a few words of 
fatherly praise for the organisations you have established and 
continue to establish in great numbers in order to train 
young workers to become both competent specialised work- 
men and convinced Christians. You could do nothing better. 
In the splendour and prosperity of that work we see promise 
for the future. 

Christian faith is often accused of offering comfort to men 
struggling for existence by holding out hope for a life to 
come. The Church, they say, does not know how to help men 
with their earthly life. Nothing could be more untrue. You 
have only to look back upon the glorious past of your dear 
Spain. Who has striven more eagerly than the Church to 
make home and social life happy and peaceful in your 


As for solving the present social question, nobody has 
offered a programme better than that contained in the teach- 
ing of the Church. It is safe, strong and practical, and has not 
been bettered. 

So the Church has all the more right to exhort and comfort 
everybody, and to remind men that the true meaning of 
earthly life lies beyond, in the life eternal. The more you 
dwell upon this truth the more you will feel inclined to work 
together in solving the social problem as it should be solved. 

It will always be true to say that the most valuable 
contribution which the Church can offer to this end is a man 
firmly anchored to his belief in Christ and in eternal life, 
and who, strong in that faith, tries to perform the tasks of 
daily life. . . . 

May God bless you, beloved children, and may He also 
bless your country and your leaders, just as we bless you all 
with all the love of a father for his children. 

Address to members of the administrative council of the International 
Labour Organisation, Castel Gandolfo, November 20, 1954- 

Christian movements have adhered wholeheartedly to the 
International Labour Organisation and consider it an honour 
to take part in its deliberations. They hope that their social 
objectives will thereby be reached more quickly and more 

Their objectives include first of all the establishment of 
living conditions which safeguard the inalienable rights of 
man as they are contained in the natural law or formulated 
in positive law. 

But law by itself is only a cold standard, a barrier that 
prevents deviations. The essential factor is the spirit that 
moves its defenders, the impetus to carry on beyond present 
perspectives, which are undoubtedly better than those of the 
past but still obscure on many points and always burdened 
with the uncertainty of human weakness. 

If men are to strive with ardour to build a temporal city 


where private initiative may flourish without fear, where 
with full respect to persons each man's aptitudes and re- 
sources may flower and where everyone may adhere with all 
his heart to the higher moral and religious principles, they 
must believe in spiritual values and firmly rely upon their 
triumph over the forces of dissolution and discord. 

What is at stake is not only the interests of the working 
class and its accession to the full exercise of its responsibilities 
but the future of human society as a whole. The labour move- 
ment cannot rest content with material success, with a more 
perfect system of guarantees and assurances or with a greater 
measure of influence upon the economic system. It cannot 
visualise its future in terms of opposition to other social 
classes or of the excessive ascendancy of the State over the 

The goal it pursues must be sought on the very plane 
on which the Organisation places it, that is to say, on the 
plane of universality as is proposed in the encyclical 
"Quadragesimo Anno" in a social order where material 
prosperity is the result of the sincere collaboration of all for 
the welfare of all and serves as a support for the higher values 
of culture and, above all, for the indissoluble union of minds 
and hearts 

Address to 30,000 delegates of the Young Christian Workers in Rome, 
September 55, 1957: 

. . . You wish to live an intense, authentically Christian 
life, not only in the secret depths of your conscience but also 
openly in your families, in the neighbourhood, in the fac- 
tory, the workshop or the office, thus showing that you belong 
fully to Christ and to the Church. Your strong organisation, 
your method, which the well-known formula summarises as 
"See, Judge, Act/* your activities on the local, regional, 
national and international levels all these enable you to 
contribute to the extension of God's Kingdom in modern 


society and to permeate that society with the teachings o 
Christianity in all their vigour and originality. . . . 

You see all around you masses of men struggling amidst 
insurmountable material difficulties, hunger, destitution, 
ignorance; some who forget even their dignity, lose their 
ideals, content themselves with vulgar satisfactions. Then 
false prophets insinuate their way into these depressed 
groups, sowing the seeds of hate and rebellion, deluding 
them with deceptive promises. On the pretext that the 
world's natural resources will not suffice to feed a growing 
human population, attempts are made even upon the dignity 
of marriage and of the family. 

In what way does the Y.C.W. strive to remedy these evils? 
It affirms, with all the ardour of youth, its faith in the 
spiritual riches of mankind, in its earthly and supernatural 
vocation, and at once applies itself to bring that vocation to 

Those economic and social problems which arise from the 
increase of world population, from the inequalities of the 
distribution of natural resources, from the insufficient de- 
velopment of certain regions, cause some people to feel mis- 
giving and pessimism. The young, on the contrary, are 
convinced that these problems can and must be solved 
through the co-operation of all men of good will. 

If one is resolved to examine these problems frankly, to 
study seriously the relevant data, and to follow the commands 
of the Christian conscience, then no situation, no matter how 
grave it may appear, will continue for long its disastrous 

People sometimes imagine, quite wrongly, that young 
Christians regard the world's future with suspicion, that 
they are saddened and discouraged when faced by scientific 
and technical advances which might become a hindrance and 
obstacle to their faith; that, in a word, they are weak and 
powerless in the presence of poverty, social injustice and all 
those forms of oppression that exist in contemporary society, 


resigning themselves passively to accept a fate which over- 
whelms them. 

The Young Christian Workers have clearly and vic- 
toriously proven to you, beloved sons and daughters, how 
false all that really is. Because you are Catholics, you are 
much stronger than others, and you have the unfailing 
assurance of final triumph. 

You refuse to use the means of violence and deceit and all 
those methods which, instead of respecting the rights of man, 
diminish or even suppress them. Your strength is super- 
natural. It comes to you from God. It is given to you, every 
instant, by the Holy Spirit, Who inspires you and bestows 
upon your most humble acts incalculable spiritual value. . . . 
The Young Christian Workers tackle the problem of work- 
ing life at what is perhaps its most delicate point, that is, at 
the moment when it first presents itself to the young man and 
the young woman. Leaving school to go to work, they are 
usually proud to play in their turn an active rdle in society, 
and they are full of confidence in themselves. Very soon, how- 
ever, cruel disillusionment fastens upon them. Too often they 
run up against difficult living conditions. They meet with 
misunderstanding, harshness, bad example. Slowly they ab- 
sorb the poison of materialistic teaching, of attitudes warped 
by class warfare and hatred. Thus they rapidly lose some- 
times for ever their freshness, their joy, their most lawful 
aspirations. Soon they become bitter, and rebel. 

This is the disaster that the Young Christian Workers wish 
absolutely to avert. It is for this reason that they work to 
restore in all its nobility the Christian idea of work, of its 
dignity and its holiness. You like to think of the actions of 
the worker as the personal acts of a son of God and brother 
of Jesus Christ, as a freely willed effort by both mind and body 

towards the service of God and of the human community 

Your surveys have already revealed to you and continue to 
show each day the sufferings undergone by workers in the 
various continents the problems of employment of young 


people just leaving school, and the dangers of prolonged idle- 
ness; problems of unemployment, lodging, travelling and 
recreation; above all, the problem of the very conditions of 
their daily work, and the perils to which their health and 
morals are exposed. 

In order that the Young Christian Workers in more 
favoured countries may be able to intervene actively, to 
stretch out a brotherly hand to their companions in their 
difficulties, to save them from disaster and lead them towards 
a more promising future, it is important to multiply contacts 
of all kinds, by correspondence, information bulletins, and 
above all by personal relations 

The fellowship which now brings you all together has 
transformed and elevated your lives, just as the ray of sun- 
light passing through stained glass makes it flame with a 
thousand fires. You will not, then, refuse to take part in the 
great effort required to better the situation of young workers 
of all races and all nations. . . . 

Today more than ever the Church has need of young 
workers who will valiantly, in joy and in sorrow, in success 
and setbacks, build up a world such as God wills it to be a 
brotherly society in which the suffering of the humblest will 
be shared and relieved by all 

You know well that there is no victory without a struggle. 
And conquests in the spiritual order demand, even more 
than other conquests, renunciation, abnegation, forgetfulness 
of self in favour of the cause one seeks to serve. You are not 
engaged in a temporal combat, merely to obtain new ad- 
vantages of an economic or social nature; rather, you aim 
above all at the conquest of souls. 

It is in the souls of your brothers who do not yet know 
Christ, or do not serve Him faithfully, that the decisive battle 
takes place. It is your duty to make the Saviour known, to 
make His law permeate all the sectors of private and public 
life. . . . 


Millions of young people are still prisoners in the bonds 
worse than those of death the bonds of destitution, error, 
moral corruption. Do not be content merely to weep over 
them. Christ is in you with His strength, which drives back 
the enemy. Go boldly, then, to those souls, and cry out to 
them the good news of the Gospel. . . . 

Address to 10,000 Italian railwayman in St. Peter's, Rome, June 26, 
1955 : 

No true Christian can find fault if you unite in strong 
organisations to defend your rights while remaining aware 
of your duties and to arrive at an improvement in your 
conditions of life. On the contrary, precisely because the 
harmonious action of all groups in the State is a Christian 
duty, no individual citizen ought to become a victim of the 
arbitrary act or tyranny of others. You are therefore acting in 
full conformity with the Church's social teaching when, by 
all means morally permissible, you vindicate your just rights. 

We said "by all means morally permissible." It is un- 
necessary to remind you that acts of violence which damage 
the liberty and the goods of others are not even contemplated 
by true Christians. When, therefore, they use the power of 
their organisations to win recognition for their rights, it is 
essential, in the first place, that they use the means suitable 
for the negotiation of a peaceful settlement. Then, in par- 
ticular, it must be taken into consideration whether the 
results being aimed at are in reasonable proportion to the 
damage that would result from force. That adds special 
weight to the responsibility of a class of workers such as 
yours, Christian railwaymen, because your work as we have 
said has a vital part to play in the economy of the whole 


Address to the International Congress of Administrative Sciences, 
August 5, 1950 : 

In the eyes of the Church no social Institution, after that 
of the family, appears of such imposing and essential im- 
portance as the State. It has Its roots in the order of creation 
and is itself one of the elements of Natural Law. That is why 
the work of co-operation in the constitution of the State 
and in the organisation of its functions is of the highest 

The co-operation we speak of means a very far-reaching 
and combined endeavour on behalf of mankind. Indeed, it 
will contribute all the more effectively if it be rightly guided 
in its purpose to promote .the honour of God the Creator 
and Orderer of human affairs. . . . Have you not always in 
mind the appeal to man's conscience, so that he may adapt 
the life of the State to the ever-changing conditions of the 
times, thus enabling it to fulfil the plans made by the Divine 

How necessary such tasks as yours must appear! In every 
age men have deplored in one place or another excessive use 
of the power of the State. Indeed, in this our own age 
examples of such excess follow one another almost without 
pause, with consequences that are, alas, too painfully mani- 
fest. Of course it is excess of which we are thinking, because 
nobody can doubt that it is necessary for the State, in the 
turmoil of present conditions, particularly social conditions, 

15 G.F.L. . 225 


to enlarge Its field of action and thus at the same time 
strengthen its power. 

There would be no danger in this if a clear understanding 
and a right assessment of the real importance of the function 
and purpose of the State had gone forward together and kept 
in step. Had that been so, the State would have had a guiding 
influence to keep it under control and hinder it from extend- 
ing its powers for reasons that in fact have nothing to do with 
social and economic needs. It has thus trespassed into other 
fields, particularly that of culture, which had better have 
been left to the free enterprise of the citizens. What happens? 
Too often it has happened that as power increased, the 
knowledge and understanding of which we have spoken has 
correspondingly decreased, and this not only among men who 
look to the State as the source of profit, or who suffer from the 
State, but even among those whose duty it is to give to the 
State its form and constitution. These latter would do well to 
direct their lives by a true understanding of the nature of the 
State. Thus they would find inspiration in their knowledge 
of it. It is their primary duty one may even say the very 
reason for their existence in office. 

What, then, is the right notion of the State if not that of a 
moral organism which has its roots in the moral order of 
the world? The State is not the almighty oppressor of all 
legitimate autonomy. Its function a most admirable func- 
tion is to foster, to help, to further the active co-operation 
of its members, welding them in the closest unity. This it 
should do in the spirit of a higher unity which, whilst 
enabling the individual to appreciate his subordination to 
the ends of the State, should be the means whereby the 
common good could best be promoted, and through which, 
precisely, individual members could preserve and develop 
their own particular and natural character. 

Neither the individual nor the family ought to be absorbed 
by the State. Each keeps and should keep its freedom of 


activity within such limits as place no hindrance to the 
common weal. 

Besides, there are rights and freedom of action possessed by 
the individual and the family which the State is at all times 
bound to defend and which it cannot set aside on the pretext 
that the good of the community is at stake. We have in mind, 
to give but a few instances, a person's right to his honour and 
his good name, to worship the true God, the natural rights of 
parents over their offspring and their education. The fact 
that some constitutions have recently acknowledged this truth 
is a happy augury which we greet with joy, seeing in it the 
beginning of a renewed respect for the rights of man as they 
have been decreed and established by God. 

Our present times witness a luxuriant growth of "plans" 
and "unifications". We readily agree that, within just limits, 
these may be desirable, and even necessary, in certain circum- 
stances. What we reject, as we have said, is excessive inter- 
ference by the State. Now who can fail to see the harm that 
would follow if the last word in affairs of State were left 
merely to technicians and organisers? No, the last word be- 
longs to men who see in the State a living thing, a normal 
development of human nature, to men who consider them- 
selves not as administrators of men but rather of the nation's 
affairs which they ought to manage in such a way that the 
individual should never, whether in private or public life, 
feel himself stifled by the oppressive atmosphere of State 

The last word in affairs of State belongs to men for whom 
the Natural Law is something more than a mere negative 
form or a closed frontier against the encroachments of positive 
law, or simply a means of technical adjustment in varying 
circumstances. Not by such men as these should the last word 
be spoken in the management of affairs, but by those who see 
in the Natural Law the very soul of positive law, giving it 
form, meaning and life. Would that men convinced of this 
were regarded as those most fitted to speak the decisive word 


in public affairs! What they need, more than energy and 
hard work, is experience and fidelity to sound principles in 
furthering the true purpose of the State. They need, as well, 
enterprise, perseverance, an objective outlook and a brave 
spirit of responsibility. 

Letter of His Holiness to M. Charles Flory, president of the French 
Social Weeks, July 14, 1954. (These Social Weeks are annual gather- 
ings of clergy and laity to discuss current social problems in the light 
of Christian social teaching, particularly as it is expounded in Pope 
Leo XIII's encyclical "Rerum Novarum", Pope Pius XI's encyclical 
"Quadragesimo Anno" and the many pronouncements by Pope 
Pius XII on social questions. The subject of the 1954 Week was 
"Crisis of Power, Crisis of Citizenship".): 

The mission of the State, we had reason to recall at the 
beginning of our pontificate, is "to supervise, to aid and to 
regulate the private and individual activities of national life, 
so as to make them work harmoniously in the interests of the 
common good/ 5 That good cannot be determined in an arbi- 
trary manner, nor can it accept for its basic standard the 
material prosperity of society; rather should this standard be 
determined in accord with the harmonious development and 
natural perfection of man. It is as a means to this end that 
the Creator established society. 

In short, the State is to be considered as an organism based 
upon the moral order of the world; and the primary aim of 
Catholic teaching is to dispel those errors that, in particular, 
of juridical positivism which, separating civil authority 
from its essential dependence upon God, tend to break the 
eminently moral bond which binds it to individual and 
social life. 

Only this sovereign order can serve, moreover, as the 
foundation for the "true and effective authority" of the State, 
the imperative need of which we again pointed out in our 
most recent Christmas message. 

On this common basis, the individual, the State and public 
authority, with their respective rights and duties, are in- 


dissolubly bound: "The dignity of man is the dignity of the 
image o God; that of the State is the dignity o the moral 
community desired by God; that of political authority is the 
dignity of its participation in the authority of God" (Christ- 
mas broadcast, 1944). 

Because of this intimate relationship the State cannot 
violate the just liberties of a human being without weaken- 
ing its own authority, and, inversely, the dignity of the 
individual is destroyed whenever he abuses his personal 
liberty to the extent of neglecting his responsibility towards 
the common good. 

If, therefore, a civic crisis is to be regretted, let us first 
question ourselves as to the fidelity of the parties involved 
with regard to these basic demands of political morality. Even 
if certain circumstances make it more difficult to wield 
authority in our times, we should not be afraid to denounce 
this spiritual and moral bankruptcy. To a large extent a 
crisis of power is a crisis of citizenship that is to say, all 
things considered, a crisis of man. Is this not, indeed, what 
daily experience confirms? 

Notwithstanding the fact that civic life in a democratic 
State imposes rigid demands upon the moral maturity of each 
citizen, we must not fear to acknowledge that a great many 
among even those individuals who call themselves Christians 
share the blame for the present-day confusion of society. The 
truth of this statement is borne out by facts which we must 
take positive action to correct. 

Among these, to cite only the most outstanding examples, 
are a lack of interest in public affairs, which manifests itself, 
among other ways, in a refusal to participate in elections of 
grave consequence; fiscal fraud, which affects the moral life, 
the social equilibrium and the economy of a country; and, 
finally, sterile criticism of authority and self-centred defence 
of privileges in contempt of the general interest. 

Catholics should take the lead in the reaction that is neces- 
sary to ameliorate this state of affairs. For, "far from there 


being the least incompatibility between fidelity to the Church 
and devotion to the interests and wellbeing of the people and 
the State, the two orders of duties which the true Christian 
should always bear in mind are intimately united in the 
most perfect harmony" (Christmas broadcast, 1950). Was it 
not the Prince of Apostles who taught: "Be subject to every 
human creature for Go&s sake . . . for such is the will of 

Individual lack of civic consciousness, however, soon 
acquires collective force, and the formation of powerful and 
active pressure-groups is perhaps the most serious aspect of 
the crisis which you are analysing. Whether it is a question 
of syndicates constituted by management or by labour, of 
economic trusts, of professional or social bodies certain of 
which serve the State directly these organisations have 
acquired a power which permits them to influence the govern- 
ment and the life of a nation. At grips with these organised 
forces, which often remain anonymous and, for one reason or 
another, sometimes extend their authority beyond the boun- 
daries of a country as equally well beyond the limits of their 
competence the democratic State which was born of the 
liberal norms of the igth century finds it difficult to surmount 
tasks which each day become more vast and more complex. . . . 

A Christian willingness to place service above personal 
gain, to respect the obligations of justice and charity, is im- 
perative in such instances. For if the leaders of these groups 
fail to enlarge their perspectives so as to encompass the greater 
aims of a nation, if they do not learn to sacrifice their prestige 
and eventually their immediate advantage out of respect for 
that which is just, they keep a country in a state of harmful 
anxiety, they paralyse the exercise of political authority, and 
they compromise, finally, the liberty of those very individuals 
whom they pretend to serve. 

To protect the liberty of the citizen, then, as at the same 
time to serve the common good through the active co-opera- 
tion of all vital forces of the nation, those invested with 


public authority should carry out their duties with firmness 
and with independence. They should perform them "with 
that awareness of their responsibility, that objectivity, im- 
partiality, loyalty, generosity and integrity without which a 
democratic government, as we had earlier occasion to remark, 
would have difficulty in obtaining the respect, confidence and 
support of the majority of the people" (Christmas message, 


Faithfulness to this ideal on the part of those who govern 
will be, moreover, their best safeguard against the dual temp- 
tation which awaits them as they confront the increasing 
amplitude of their task: a temptation to weakness, which 
would cause them to yield to the combined pressure of men 
and events; or, a contrary temptation, to espouse stateism, as 
a result of which public authority would substitute itself 
unduly for free private initiative in order to regulate directly 
the social economy and other branches of human activity. 

Now, if one cannot today deny to the State a right which 
liberalism denied to it, it is nonetheless true that the role of 
the State is not essentially the direct assumption of the 
economic, cultural and social functions which lie outside its 
province; rather is it to ensure the true independence of its 
authority so as to be able to delegate to those who exercise 
lawful power in a country an equitable share of the responsi- 
bility, without imperilling its own mission of co-ordinating 
and orientating all efforts to a higher common good. 

Even when, to bring about better integration of certain 
intermediary groups within a national community, it may be 
considered advantageous to summon them into closer and 
more organic collaboration with public authority, the ques- 
tion of such action should be re-opened and prudently 

And yet it is our desire to voice this sentiment once again 
in conclusion do not let reflection upon institutions and the 
quest for remedies on the level of political structures ever 
hide from your sight the moral roots of any civic crisis. For 


too long a period of time juridical thinking has been cor- 
rupted by the practice of a partisan utilitarianism serving 
individual, class, group or movement interests. The juridical 
order must once again feel itself bound to the moral order. 

May God grant that he who commands, as well as he who 
obeys, have nothing henceforth before his eyes but obedience 
to the eternal laws of truth and justice. . . . Men of govern- 
ment confronted with heavy responsibilities, private organi- 
sations charged with vast collective interests, ordinary citizens 
justly concerned about serving the common good it is to all 
that the Psalmist's warning is addressed: "Unless the Lord 
build the house> they labour in vain that build it; unless the 
Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it! 9 

Address to the 150,000 men and women workers of the Catholic Asso- 
ciations of Italian Workers a religious, not a trade union, organisa- 
tion at which the Holy Father instituted the new liturgical feast of 
St. Joseph the Worker, to be celebrated each year on May Day; in St. 
Peter's Square, May i, 1955 : 

We wish to address a few special remarks to those who have 
been called "the disillusioned" among Italian Catholics. 
There are in fact many such, particularly among our more 
enthusiastic and well-intentioned younger people. They are 
"disillusioned" because they expected that Catholic groups 
would be far more active in the public affairs of their 
country. . . . 

They would undoubtedly find an answer to their com- 
plaint were they to study closely the programme of the 
Catholic Associations of Italian Workers. This programme 
calls for the active co-operation of even the unskilled worker 
in the development of the economic and social life of the 
country. Further, it asks that within every business enterprise 
each individual be sincerely accorded the status of a true 
co-worker. . . . 

We wish to focus the attention of these "disillusioned" 
persons upon the following fact: the individual human 
being cannot be given adequate security and protection 


against abusive restrictions, cannot be enabled to develop his 
human personality freely within the limits of society merely 
by new laws and new institutions. All these are useless if the 
ordinary individual continues to live in fear of coming under 
the arbitrary rule of others. They are all in vain unless the 
ordinary person is freed of the apprehension that he Is sub- 
ject to the whims of those who as public officials direct insti- 
tutions and organisations. 

Laws and institutions are of little worth if the ordinary 
man sees that in his daily life everything depends upon influ- 
ential connections which he, unlike some others, does not 
have; or if he suspects that behind the fagade of what is called 
the State there lies concealed the manipulations of powerful 
organised groups. 

The participation of Christian groups in public affairs goes 
beyond the enactment of just laws and the foundation of 
institutions suited to our times. Even more important than 
these is the setting aside of empty slogans and idle promises. 
The common man must feel that he is being given true sup- 
port and encouragement in his legitimate demands and expec- 
tations. You must seek to form a public opinion which will 
point out frankly and courageously, but without scandal- 
mongering, those persons and conditions which are not in 
conformity with just laws and institutions, or which malici- 
ously seek to conceal the truth. 

The co-operation of the ordinary citizen cannot be won 
merely by thrusting a ballot in his hand or by other similar 
means. If he wishes to assume some partnership with the 
governing classes, if he desires, for the universal betterment 
of society, to make what contributions he can to the fund of 
useful ideas and to aid in overcoming the selfishness of our 
world, then he himself must have the necessary interior 
energies for this; he must have an ardent determination to do 
his part in introducing into all public affairs a sound and 
healthy morality 


In this movement of the working man, only those persons 
will be truly disillusioned who focus their attention exclu- 
sively upon the immediate political scene and upon the 
manoeuvres of the majority. Your work is now in a most im- 
portant phase the preparation of men for an active part in 
public affairs. 


Nineteen hundred years after the Crucifixion, Pope Pius 
XII, in an encyclical letter issued on June 2, 1951, stated 
that the number of pagans in the world "our brethren 'who 
sit in darkness and shadow' " can be reckoned at about 
1,000 million. 

Missionaries* went to China centuries ago, but it was not 
until October, 1926, that the first Chinese Bishops six in 
number were consecrated by Pope Pius XI, at the Papal 
altar in St. Peter's, Rome. 

Until 1939 there was not one Negro Bishop of the Latin 
rite in Africa. In May of that year } again in St. Peter's, Pope 
Pius XII consecrated an African and a Madagascan among 
the twelve new Bishops the "Twelve Apostles", they were 
popularly called whom he had chosen for various mission 
fields. But now also there are Japanese, Indian, Ceylonese, 
Burmese, Philippine, Malayan, Korean, Vietnamese and 
Indonesian Bishops; and living now are the first Sudanese 
Bishop, the first Zulu Bishop, the first Basuto Bishop. 

From an address to the Cardinals, Bishops, priests and 2,300 leaders 
attending the second World Congress of the Lay Apostolate, October 5, 
1957 " 

At the Lay Congress in Manila an authorised spokesman 
discussed a task whose precise nature and concept have to be 
established by the Church's Hierarchy but which, in its 
thousand forms, must be carried to completion by laymen. 



The problem is to utilise Catholic forces and these can be 
very considerable so that national life can develop peaceably, 
free from extreme nationalism and national antagonism, in 
spite of all the bitterness which has built up over the past. 

The values of Western culture must be joined to those of 
national culture, and the usages of the Church adapted to 
those local customs and practices that are not objectionable. 

Except in the Philippines, Catholics are in a minority 
among the peoples of Asia. This is true also of the greater 
part of Africa. For this reason Catholics should distinguish 
themselves all the more by the example they give. In parti- 
cular they should take a great interest in the economic, social 
and political phases of public life. As a matter of fact, they 
have won the esteem of non-Catholics wherever they have 
done this. And since Catholic social thought is still little 
known in Asia, European and American universities should 
be willing to help Asian and African Christians who wish to 
prepare themselves for public office. 

Competent teachers must be trained to work in schools of 
every level. Both in Asia and Africa Catholic schools are 
highly regarded by non-Catholics. For our part, we desire 
that religion be taught in such a way as not to separate 
doctrine from life. 

A word on the use of catechists. Asia and Africa have a 
population of a billion and a half, among whom are about 
25,000,000 Catholics, cared for by 20,000 to 25,000 priests 
and 74,000 catechists. If the teachers, who are often the best 
catechists, are counted into this last figure, it reaches 160,000. 
The catechist is perhaps the classic example of the lay apostle, 
both by the very nature of his profession and because he 
makes up for the shortage of priests. It is said that, at least 
among African missionaries, a missionary with six catechists 
accomplishes more than do seven missionaries. The reason is 
that a competent catechist works in familiar surroundings 
and is quite familiar with local languages and customs; he 


makes contact with Individuals more easily than does the 
missionary from a far-off land. 

Catechists, then, are native lay apostles. But there is also 
an apostolate for foreign lay and lay-assistant missionaries. 
Doctors, engineers, manual workers in various fields should 
support the work of the missionary priest by their good 
example and their professional activities, and above all by the 
training they can give the natives. Together with professional 
training, or after its completion, these lay missionaries should 
be given a spiritual training orientated towards their mission- 
work. Twelve such movements are now in existence, co-ordi- 
nated by a secretariat general in Milan, but the lay mission- 
ary movement is just beginning to develop and can only 
accept an elite. 

With regard to its economy, 70 per cent, of Asia is an agri- 
cultural region, and it has been said with truth that the 
farmer is both the most important and the most neglected 
person in Asia. Catholics must realise the need to examine 
their consciences on this subject. In the Philippines, the 
Catholic laymen who work beside the priests for the social 
and spiritual betterment of the farmer are deeply appreciated 
lay apostles. 

The women of Asia and Africa offer countless opportunities 
for action to the women's lay apostolate, in all kinds of 
schools, in the fight against child marriage, forced marriage, 
divorce and polygamy. This work includes the preparation of 
young women for marriage a work being carried out suc- 
cessfully by nuns in Hong Kong, the Belgian Congo and 
Uganda and the formation of groups of Catholic women 
who can thus help one another and give charitable help to the 
non-Catholic women of their area. This apostolate for women 
is undoubtedly difficult, but it is full of hope. In all the 
mission territories where Catholicism is well-established, ex- 
perience shows that woman's dignity is more respected. 

In Africa, particularly, we witness with joy and gratitude 
the extraordinary dynamism of young Catholics in cultural, 


social and political fields. They should co-operate with the 
Christian-inspired trade union movements, as is being done 
in Vietnam, Equatorial Africa and West Africa, and should 
establish marketing and consumers' co-operatives. They 
should take part in national movements and community 
affairs, for the Church does not simply inspire piety: she 
meets all life's problems. As a bearer of his continent's 
spiritual riches, the young African layman should bear wit- 
ness to this spiritual wealth and cultivate it in his life and 

In conclusion, we give you two directives: 

First, co-operate with neutral and non-Catholic organisa- 
tions and movements on the condition and to the extent that 
you thereby serve the common good and the cause of God. 

Secondly, play an important part in international organisa- 
tions. This recommendation applies to all, but particularly 
to agricultural specialists. . . . 

Encyclical letter on the promotion of Catholic Missions, June 2, 1951 : 

When we consider before God the immense number of 
men without the truth of the Gospel and duly reckon the 
grave danger that faces many because of the prevalence of 
atheistic materialism or of that so-called Christian creed 
which is tainted with the teaching and errors of Communism 
we are much concerned and anxious that nothing be left un- 
done to further the work of the apostolate throughout the 
world. . . . 

The person called by God to evangelise distant non- 
Catholic lands has received a most sublime vocation. He con- 
secrates his life to God in order to spread His kingdom to 
the farthest ends of the earth. He "does not seek what is his, 

but what is Christ's" He must therefore look upon the 

country he is about to evangelise as a second fatherland and 
love it, as he ought. Furthermore, he should not seek any 
earthly advantage for his own country. ... 

The object of missionary activity, as all know, is to bring 


the light of the Gospel to new races and to make new Chris- 
tians. However, the ultimate goal of missionary endeavour, 
never to be lost sight of, Is to establish the Church on sound 
foundations among non-Christian peoples, and place it under 
its own native Hierarchy. In a letter which we wrote on 
August 9 last year to our beloved son Peter Cardinal 
Fumasoni-Biondi, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the 
Propagation of the Faith, we mentioned the following points 
among others: "The Church's aim is not the domination of 
peoples or the gaining of temporal dominions; it is eager 
only to bring the supernatural light of faith to all peoples, 
and to promote the interests of civilisation and culture, and 
brotherly friendship among nations.". . . 

We return heartfelt thanks to God that in both countries 
(Korea and China) a numerous clergy chosen from among the 
people has grown up as the future hope of the Church, and 
that not a few dioceses have been entrusted to the care of 
native Bishops. That there is already such development re- 
dounds to the credit of the foreign missionaries. 

We think it good now to point out something which should 
be carefully borne in mind when mission territory that has 
been under the care of foreign missionaries is entrusted to a 
native Bishop and clergy. It is not necessary that the religious 
institute whose members toiled in the mission field in the 
sweat of their brow should leave it altogether when, by 
decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the 
Faith, the vineyard which they have made so flourishing is 
handed over to other husbandmen. It will be useful and 
fitting that such a religious institute remain to work with the 
newly appointed native Bishop. As in other Catholic dioceses 
of the world, religious usually assist the Ordinary, so in 
mission countries they should not cease, foreigners though 
they be, to labour for the Church as auxiliaries. Thus what 
the Divine Master proclaimed at the well of Sichar will be 
happily, fulfilled: "And he that reapeth, receiveth wages 


and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that 
soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together." 

We desire to address and exhort in this encyclical letter 
not only missionary priests but also laymen who "with a great 
heart and a willing mind" collaborate with the missionaries 
in the ranks of Catholic Action. . . . There is a pressing need 
for layfolk in great numbers to enter the serried ranks of 
Catholic Action, there to work generously, earnestly and dili- 
gently with the Hierarchy in the apostolate. We therefore 
desire that there be everywhere established, as far as possible, 
associations of Catholic men and women and also of students, 
workers, artists, athletes and other clubs and sodalities. These 
can be looked upon as auxiliaries of the missionaries. . . . 
Although it is clear that Catholic Action should have an 
influence primarily in furthering the works of the apostolate, 
its members are not hindered from joining other organisa- 
tions whose purpose is to reform social and political life 
according to the principles and teachings of the Gospel. In 
fact their sharing in this work not only as citizens but as 
Catholics too is their right and fundamental duty. 

Since young men, especially those who have had the advan- 
tage of a classical and liberal education, will direct the course 
of the future, no one can be blind to the supreme importance 
of giving the best of care to elementary schools, high schools 
and colleges. Therefore, with fatherly anxiety we exhort 
superiors of missions, as means allow, to spare neither labour 
nor expense in vigorously promoting this phase of missionary 
activity. . . . 

Schools and colleges are, moreover, especially helpful in 
refuting those particular errors which, now daily infecting 
more and more non-Catholic and Communist activities, are 
being openly and secretly instilled with special care into the 
minds of young people. 

An equally useful service is the distribution of timely 
publications. It is scarcely necessary for us to dwell at length 
upon this point, for everyone knows how effectively news- 


papers, magazines and reviews can be employed either to 
present truth and virtue in their proper light and thus 
impress them on the minds of men, or to expose fallacies 
masquerading as truth, or to refute certain false opinions 
hostile to religion, or which do great spiritual harm by a 
distorted presentation of vexed social questions. . . . 

We would speak of the social reforms demanded by justice 
and charity. Whilst Communist propaganda, so widespread 
today, is readily deceiving the minds of the simple and un- 
tutored, we seem to hear an echo of those words of the Divine 
Saviour: "I have compassion on the multitude." We must 
put into practice with zeal and diligence the right principles 
taught by the Church. We must hope to keep all the nations 
free from those poisonous errors, or if they are already tainted 
with them, to set them free from those deadly doctrines that 
propose worldly enjoyment as the only goal to be attained 
by men in this mortal life. At the same time, by subjecting 
everything to State ownership and control, they reduce the 
dignity of human persons almost to zero. . . . Charity indeed 
can remedy, in some sort, many unjust social conditions. Yet 
that is not enough. For in the first place justice must prevail 
and be seen in practice. . . . 

Respect for good traditions and customs. . . . The Church 
from the beginning down to our own time has always followed 
this wise practice. It should not be that the Gospel, once 
preached in any new land, destroys or extinguishes whatever 
its people possess that is naturally good, just or beautiful. 
For when the Church calls people to a higher culture and a 
better way of life under the inspiration of the Christian reli- 
gion she does not act like one who recklessly fells and uproots 
a thriving forest. No, she grafts good stock upon the wild that 
it may bear a crop of more delicious fruit. Human nature, 
thought tainted with Original Sin through Adam's fall, has 
in itself something that is naturally Christian; and this, if it 
receive the Divine light and the nourishment of God's grace, 
can in time be changed into true and supernatural virtue. 

1 6 G.F.L. 


This is the reason why the Catholic Church has neither 
scorned nor rejected the pagan philosophies. Instead, she 
cleanses them from error and all contamination, and then 
perfects and completes them by Christian revelation. So, like- 
wise, the Church has graciously made her own the native art 
and culture which in some countries is highly developed. 
She has carefully encouraged them and has brought them to a 
point of aesthetic perfection to which by themselves they 
probably would never have attained. 

Certainly the Church has not repressed native customs and 
traditions, but has given them a religious meaning. 

Part Five 

The Road to Christ 



/ft accordance with a tradition that goes back to Pope 
Boniface VIII at the end of the i$th century, the Holy Father 
proclaimed 1950 a Holy Year, during which special prim- 
leges and blessings were granted to all who went to Rome on 
pilgrimage. Specifically His Holiness named this the Year 
of the Great Return and the Year of the Great Pardon 
return from apostasy and return from sin. 

Millions of people did in fact go to Rome more than had 
ever gone in a Jubilee Year from every country, except those 
"who", the Pope said later,, "are enclosed, one may say, by 
an iron wall 9 '. 

Christmas message, December 23, 1949: 

Never before as on this Christmas Eve, which opens the 
happy event of the new Jubilee Year, has our heart of Father 
and Shepherd felt you so closely united to us, beloved sons 
and daughters of the whole world. We seem to see before us 
millions upon millions of the faithful, and feel the thrill of 
their voices and our heart does not deceive us in union 
with ours making a great chorus of thanksgiving, eager long- 
ing and humble petition to the Father, Giver of every good 
gift, to the Son, repairer of every wrong, to the Holy Ghost, 
dispenser of every grace. 

We ourself, to whom Divine Providence has reserved the 
privilege of proclaiming and granting the whole world this 
Holy Year, already foresee its importance for the coming half 
century. It seems to us that the Holy Year of 1950 must be 



decisive especially for the longed-for religious renewal of the 
modern world, and that it must bring a remedy to that 
spiritual crisis which lies heavy on men's minds in this our 

The true harmony between heavenly values and those of 
earth, between the Divine and the human, to make which is 
the function and duty of our generation, will be realised or 
at least hastened if Christ's faithful stand firm in their re- 
solve, steadfast in the work they have undertaken, and refuse 
to allow themselves to be seduced by empty Utopias or led 
astray by party interests and selfishness. . . . 

How many people look upon sin simply as mere "weak- 
ness" and even make a virtue of this weakness. "Indeed," 
wrote the pagan Sallust long ago, "we have lost the true mean- 
ing of words, for the giving away of another man's goods is 
called liberality, and boldness in doing evil passes for 
bravery." Clever play with the meaning of words in the im- 
portant questions of public and private life enables these 
people to hide what conscience does not wish to bring to 
light. Thus they approve what in their heart of hearts they 
condemn. They deny what they ought in loyalty to acknow- 

How many set up their own idols in the place of God! God, 
Whose goodness understands so well the hearts that He Him- 
self has fashioned and Whose kindness is ever ready to come 
to their aid is not rightly understood by many. 

This explains why so many are Christians merely through 
habit, why so many are listless and careless, and again why 
so many souls are in torment and without hope. As though 
Christianity were not itself the "good tidings"! 

Such are the false ideas of God. They are empty fantasies 
of minds all too human. These ideas the Holy Year must 
scatter and banish from the hearts of men. 

The ready welcome with which the world greeted its 
announcement confirms the trust that we have placed in the 
Holy Year, ... It must needs be in line with the secret design 


of God. It must needs be recognised as the year of the Great 
Return, the year of the Great Pardon, in such measure at 
least as our present age, even in these our times, has been an 
epoch of apostasy and guilt. . . . 

Our invitation is meant to be above all that of a father who 
loves, toils, suffers, prays and hopes for the good and happi- 
ness of his children. For all men on earth are our children, 
at least by right and Divine purpose, yes, even those who 
have abandoned us, who have done us injury and who have 
caused us pain and continue to do so. To you, our children, 
we appeal you who are far away, lost, deluded or embit- 
tered; to you especially in whose hearts treacherous words 
and perhaps a short-sighted view of things have stifled the 
affection you once had for Holy Church. Do not spurn the 
offer of reconciliation which God Himself offers you through 
us in this truly acceptable time. From this moment onwards, 
be assured that pleasant are the ways that lead back to the 
house of the Father, and joyful the welcome that awaits you. 

May this Holy Year mark the return to God of those souls 
who for one reason or another have had their minds and hearts 
blinded to the image and memory of their Creator, from 
Whom comes their very life and that of all other beings. In 
Him is the summit of their happiness. 

Our heart tells us that this Holy Year will see many such 
returns. It will see a great many conversions of pagans in 
mission lands to the Christian faith. 

It will console you to know that since the Jubilee of 1925 
the number of Catholics in those far-off countries has more 
than doubled, and in some districts of Africa the visible 
Church has become the foundation of social life, thanks to a 
deep Christian influence exerted both in private and public 

Yet with deep grief of soul we cannot help thinking of the 
grave dangers threatening or already afflicting religion and 
its institutions in other countries of Europe and Asia, in, for 
example, the vast territories of China, where revolutionary 


upheavals, in conditions already unstable, have made regions 
once pulsating with life now graveyards of the dead. 

May the Holy Year mark the return to the Redeemer, 
Jesus Christ, of souls under the spell of sinful attraction, who 
live far from the Father's house. There are believers and 
Catholics whose spirit, weak, alas, as is the flesh, makes them 
traitors to their rightful duties and forgetful of their real 
treasure. They live in a continual round of default and lapse. 
They are wrong if they think they possess the Christian life 
and are pleasing to God unless sanctifying grace dwells habi- 
tually in their souls. Through an easy compromise between 
earth and Heaven, time and eternity, matter and spirit, they 
are drawn into the danger of dying of misery and hunger, 
far away from Jesus. He does not count among His followers 
those who want to serve two masters. For such as these, 
wounded in spirit, lepers, paralytics, broken branches with- 
out life-giving sap, may the Holy Year be a period of healing 
and amendment. . . . 

Oh! that this Holy Year could see also the Great Return 
to the one true Church, awaited over the centuries, of so many 
who, though believing in Jesus Christ, are for one reason or 
another, separated from her 

With good reason are men anxious at the affrontery with 
which united militant atheism is advancing. Now the old 
question is openly asked: Why still separations? Why still 
schisms? When will all the forces of spirit and of love be 
joined in harmony? 

If on other occasions an invitation to unity has been sent 
forth from this Apostolic See, on this occasion all the more 
do we repeat it with brotherly concern. We are moved by 
the pleadings of prayers of numerous believers scattered over 
the whole earth who, after tragic and painful sufferings, turn 
their eyes towards the Apostolic See as towards an anchor of 
salvation for the whole world. For all those who adore Christ 
not forgetting those who sincerely but in vain await His 
coming and adore Him as the one promised by the prophets 


and still to come do we open the Holy Door. At the same 
time we offer a welcome from the heart of a father whose 
fatherhood, In the unfathomable design of God, has come to 
us from Jesus the Redeemer. 

Finally, may this Jubilee be the year of the Great Return 
of all mankind to the Divine plan. 

As the modern world has tried to shake off the sweet yoke 
of God, so it has rejected with it the order He established, and 
with the self-same pride that moved the rebel angel at the 
beginning of Creation, has pretended to set up an order of 
its own choosing. After some two centuries of sorry experi- 
ence and waywardness, those who are still sincere and honest 
admit that plans and impositions of this sort, which bear the 
name but lack the substance of order, have not yielded their 
promised fruit. They fail to satisfy the natural aspirations of 
man. Their failure is evident at two levels social and inter- 

In the social field, the counterfeiting of God's plan has 
sunk to lowest depths by deforming the Divine image of man. 
For the truth of man's origin and destiny in God there has 
been substituted the false notion of man with conscience a 
law unto itself, man his own legislator, brooking no control, 
with no responsibility towards his fellows and the community, 
with no destiny beyond earth, no purpose other than the 
enjoyment of transitory things, no rule of life but the accom- 
plished fact and the unbridled satisfaction of desire. 

Out of this has grown a narrow individualism so varied in 
its relationship to public and private life, which has been 
able to wield increasing power over a long period of years. 
This is now in serious crisis everywhere. 

But the innovators of today have given us no better results. 
Starting from the same mistaken premises and taking the 
downward path in another direction, they have led to conse- 
quences no less disastrous, including the complete overturn- 
ing of the Divine order, contempt for the dignity of the 


human person, the denial of the most sacred and fundamental 
freedoms, the domination of a single class over all others, and 
the enslavement of all persons and property in a totalitarian 
State to legalised violence and militant atheism. 

To those who support to one or other of these social 
systems, both of them foreign and opposed to the Divine plan, 
may this our persuasive invitation to return to natural and 
Christian principles find a favourable answer. For upon these 
principles is based effective justice, together with respect for 
true freedom. May the recognition that all men are equal in 
the inviolability of personal rights put an end to the future 
struggle which makes brother hate brother. . . . 

Do not forget that if God be left out, material prosperity 
is a festering wound for those who do not possess it, and a 
death-trap for those who do. Without God, intellectual and 
aesthetic culture is a river cut off from its source and its 
outlet; it becomes a quagmire filled with sand and mud. 

Then, as the fruit of this Holy Year we look for the return 
of international society to God's plan. In this plan all peoples 
in peace, not in war; in partnership, not in isolation; in 
justice, not in national selfishness are meant to make one 
great human family bent upon advancement of interests that 
are common to them all. This is to be fulfilled through 
mutual aid and a fair distribution of this world's goods, which 
are a treasure entrusted to men by God. 

Beloved sons, if ever there was a favourable occasion for 
exhorting the rulers of people to thoughts of peace, that of 
the Holy Year seems to us the most favourable of all. It is, and 
is intended to be, at once an urgent appeal and a contribution 
to the brotherhood of nations. Here in Rome, the mother of 
peoples, there will be meeting together pilgrims of different 
race, nation, language, custom and character. And within 
these very walls they will live together, meet in the same 
streets, lodge in the same hotels, take part in the same rites, 
find refreshment at the same spiritual fountains, enjoy the 
same consolations. Among them will be those who were 


bidden to deal out death and those who suffered its terrible 
effects, the invader and the conquered, the keeper of the 
barbed wire prison camp and the prisoner who suffered the 
hard lot of imprisonment. Have we not reason, then, to be- 
lieve that these thousands upon thousands of our devoted sons 
and daughters will become the faithful vanguard in the cru- 
sade for peace, and that with our blessing they will take home 
with them the meaning and the power of the peace of Christ 
to win new recruits for so holy a cause? 

God forbid that this "Truce of God", the earnest and in- 
spiration of peaceful counsels, should be disturbed or violated 
by reckless schemes not only among the nations but among 
divergent groups of one country. Such sacrilegious interfer- 
ence would bring upon itself the just anger of God and 
would undoubtedly call down the condemnation of all 
mankind. . . . 

If the Jubilee is a time of extraordinary return for men, it 
will be for God an occasion of more generous and loving 
pardon. Who does not stand in need of God's forgiveness? 
Yet though the Lord be ready to pardon, He does not dispense 
the sinner from the necessity of sincere repentance and due 
expiation. . . . 

During this Holy Year, which recalls the expiation of 
Calvary, do you, dear children, expiate your own sins and 
the sins of others. Bury all the past in sincere repentance, and 
be assured that if the present generation has been so griev- 
ously stricken by chastisements of its own fashioning, it is 
because it has deliberately and wantonly sinned. 



It is often said in criticism, that the Holy See and the 
Catholic Church are authoritarian and inflexible, and that in 
a free world there should be more democracy in the Church. 

The Holy See and the Church are even more, much more, 
insistent than the critics that they are authoritarian and in- 
flexible, first because Christ Himself made His Church the 
expression of His, own authority, and because His truth is firm 
and unchangeable for all men and for all time. 

The seeker after democracy in the Catholic Church will 
find it in overwhelming abundance in the Papacy, the epi- 
scopate, the priesthood and among the laity. The door to 
membership of the Church is. intended for and is open 
to every human being. The door to the priesthood is open to 
every man in whom the Church can see the calling of Christ 
the Priest. The episcopate and the Red Hat of the Sacred 
College of Cardinals are conferred upon men of all ranks of 
life. And when the Cardinals meet no elect a new Pope, their 
choice is unlimited. They may even choose a layman, even a 
married layman. Over the centuries they have chosen for the 
Chair of St. Peter many men who were not priests, and a great 
number who^ like John XXIII, came from the humblest of 

Address to the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops present in Rome 
for the canonisation of Pope Pius X, May 31, 1954: 

Christ our Lord entrusted the truth which He had brought 
from Heaven to the Apostles and, through them, to their 



successors. He sent His Apostles, as He had been sent by the 
Father, to teach all nations everything they had heard from 

The Apostles are, therefore, by Divine right the true doc- 
tors and teachers in the Church, Besides the lawful successors 
of the Apostles, namely, the Roman Pontiff for the Universal 
Church and Bishops for the faithful entrusted to their care, 
there are no other teachers Divinely constituted in the Church 
of Christ. 

But both the Bishops and, first of all, the Supreme Teacher 
and Vicar of Christ on earth may associate others with them- 
selves in the work of teacher and use their advice; they 
delegate to them the faculty to teach, either by special grant 
or by conferring an office to which the faculty is attached. 
Those who are so called teach not in their own name nor by 
reason of their theological knowledge, but by reason of the 
mandate which they have received from the lawful Teaching 
Authority. Their faculty always remains subject to that 
Authority, nor is it ever exercised in its own right or inde- 

Bishops for their part, by conferring this faculty, are not 
deprived of their right to teach; they retain the very grave 
obligation of supervising the doctrine which others propose, 
in order to help them, and of seeing to its integrity and 

Therefore, the legitimate Teaching Authority of the 
Church is guilty of no injury or of no offence to any of those 
to whom it has given a canonical mission, if it desires to ascer- 
tain what they to whom it has entrusted the mission of teach- 
ing are proposing and defending in their lectures, in books, 
notes and reviews intended for the use of their students, as 
well as in books and other publications intended for all. 

And this care and prudence of the legitimate Teaching 
Authority does not at all imply distrust or suspicion (nor 
does the profession of faith which the Church requires of 
professors and many others); on the contrary, the fact that 


the office of teacher has been bestowed implies confidence, 
high regard and honour shown to the person to whom the 
office has been entrusted. . . . 

Not without serious reason, Venerable Brothers, have we 
wished to recall these things in your presence. For, unfor- 
tunately, it has happened that certain teachers care little for 
conformity with the living Teaching Authority of the 
Church; pay little heed to her commonly received doctrine 
clearly proposed in various ways; and at the same time they 
follow their own bent too much and regard too highly the 
intellectual temper of more recent writers and the standards 
of other branches of learning, which they declare and hold 
to be the only ones which conform to sound ideas and stan- 
dards of scholarship. 

Of course, the Church is eager to foster the study of human 
branches of learning and their progress; she honours with 
special favour and regard learned men who spend their lives 
in the cultivation of learning. However, matters of religion 
and morals, because they completely transcend truths of the 
senses and the plane of the material, belong solely to the 
office and authority of the Church. . . . 

Time and again St. Pius X, in writings whose importance 
is known to you all, urgently stressed the need for this union 
with the mind and teaching of the Church 

As for the laity, it is clear that they can be invited by 
legitimate teachers and accepted as helpers in the defence of 
the Faith. It is enough to call to mind the thousands of men 
and women engaged in catechetical work and other types of 
lay apostolate, all of which are highly praiseworthy and can 
be strenuously promoted. But all these lay apostles must be 
and remain under the authority, leadership and watchfulness 
of those who by Divine institution are set up as teachers of 
Christ's Church. 

In matters involving the salvation of souls there is no teach- 
ing authority in the Church not subject to this authority and 


Recently, what is called 'lay theology" has sprung up and 
spread to various places, and a new class of 'lay theologian" 
has emerged which claims to be sui juris. There are professors 
of this theology occupying established chairs, courses are 
given, notes published, discussions held. These professors 
distinguish their teaching authority from, and in a certain 
way set it up against, the public Teaching Authority of the 
Church. At times, in order to justify their position, they 
appeal to the gifts of teaching and of interpreting prophecy 
which are mentioned more than once in the New Testament, 
especially in the Pauline Epistles. They appeal to history, 
which from the beginning of the Christian religion down to 
today presents so many names of laymen who, for the good 
of souls, have taught the truth of Christ orally and in writing, 
though not called to this by Bishops and without having asked 
or received the sacred Teaching Authority, but simply led 
on by their inward impulse and apostolic zeal. 

Nevertheless, it is necessary to maintain to the contrary 
that there never has been, there is not now and there never 
will be in the Church a legitimate teaching authority of the 
laity withdrawn by God from the authority, guidance and 
watchfulness of the sacred Teaching Authority. In fact, the 
very denial of submission offers a convincing proof and cri- 
terion that laymen who so speak and act are not guided by 
the Spirit of God and of Christ. Furthermore, everyone can 
see how great a danger of confusison and error there is in this 
'lay theology", a danger also lest others begin to be taught 
by men clearly unfitted for the task, or even by deceitful and 
fraudulent men whom St. Paul described: "The time will 
come when men . . ,. always itching to hear something fresh, 
will provide themselves with a steady succession of new 
teachers, as the whim takes them, turning a deaf ear to the 
truth, bestowing their attention on fables instead/' 

Far be it from us by this admonition to turn away from a 
deeper study and dissemination of sacred doctrine those men, 


of whatsoever class or group, who are inspired to it by such 
a noble zeal. . . . 

Address to Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops attending the solemn 
ceremonies in Rome in honour of Our Lady in the Marian Year, 
November 2,, 1954: 

There are some noticeable attitudes and tendencies of 
mind which presume to check and set limits to the power of 
Bishops (the Roman Pontiff not excepted), as being strictly 
the shepherds of the flock entrusted to them. They fix their 
authority, office and watchfulness within certain bounds, 
which concern strictly religious matters, the statement of the 
truths of the faith, the regulation of devotional practices, 
administration of the sacraments of the Church and the carry- 
ing out of liturgical ceremonies. They wish to restrain the 
Church from all undertakings and business which concern 
life as it is really conducted "the realities of life", as they 

In short, the way of thinking in the official statements of 
some lay Catholics, even those in high positions, is sometimes 
shown when they say: "We are perfectly willing to see, to 
listen to and to approach Bishops and priests in their 
churches and regarding matters within their authority; but 
in places of official and public business, where matters of this 
life are dealt with and decided, we have no wish to see them 
or to listen to what they say. For there, it is we laymen, and 
not the clergy no matter of what rank or qualification who 
are the legitimate judges." 

We must take an open and firm stand against errors of this 
kind: the power of the Church is not bound by the limits of 
"matters strictly religious", as they say, but the whole matter 
of Natural Law, its foundation, its interpretation, its appli- 
cation, so far as their moral aspect extends, are within the 
Church's power. For the keeping of the Natural Law, by 


God's appointment, has reference to the road by which man 
has to approach his supernatural end. 

Now on this road the Church is man's guide and guardian 
in what concerns his supreme end. The Apostles observed 
this in times past, and afterwards, from the earliest centuries, 
the Church has kept to this manner of acting, and keeps to it 
today, not indeed like some private guide or adviser, but by 
virtue of the Lord's command and authority. 

Therefore, when it is a question of instructions and propo- 
sitions which the properly constituted shepherds (that is, the 
Roman Pontiff for the whole Church and the Bishops for the 
faithful entrusted to them) publish on matters within the 
Natural Law, the faithful must not invoke that saying (which 
is wont to be employed with respect to opinions of indi- 
viduals): "The strength of the authority is no more than 
the strength of the arguments/' Hence, even though to some- 
one, certain declarations of the Church may not seem proved 
by the arguments put forward, his obligation to obey still 

This was the mind and these are the words of St. Pius X in 
his encyclical letter Singulari quadam of September 24, 1912 : 
"Whatever a Christian may do, even in affairs of this world, 
he may not ignore the supernatural, nay, he must direct all 
to the highest good as to his last end in accordance with the 
dictates of Christian wisdom: but all his actions, in so far as 
they are morally good or evil, that is, agree with, or are in 
opposition to, Divine and Natural Law, are subject to the 
judgment and authority of the Church/' And he immediately 
transfers this principle to the social sphere: "The social 
question and the controversies underlying that question . . . 
are not merely of an economic nature, and consequently such 
as can be settled while the Church's authority is ignored, 
since, on the contrary, it is most certain that it (the social 
question) is primarily a moral and religious one, and on that 
account must be settled chiefly in accordance with the moral 
law and judgment based on religion." 

17 G.F.L. 


Many and serious are the problems in the social field 
whether they be merely social or socio-political, they pertain 
to the moral order, are of concern to conscience and the salva- 
tion of men; thus they cannot be declared outside the 
authority and care of the Church. 

Indeed, there are problems outside the social field, not 
strictly "religious", political problems, of concern either to 
individual nations, or to all nations, which belong to the 
moral order, weigh on the conscience and can, and very often 
do, hinder the attainment of man's last end. Such are: the 
purpose and limits of temporal authority; the relation be- 
tween the individual and society; the so-called "totalitarian 
State", whatever be the principle it is based on; the "com- 
plete laicisation" of the State and of public life; the complete 
laicisation of the schools; war, its morality, lawfulness and 
unlawfulness when waged as it is today, and whether a con- 
scientious person may give or withhold his co-operation in it; 
the moral relationships which bind and rule the various 

Common sense, and truth as well, are contradicted by any- 
one who asserts that these and like problems are outside the 
field of morals, and hence are, or at least can be, beyond the 
influence of that Authority established by God to care for a 
just order and to direct the consciences and actions of men 
along the path to their true and final destiny. That Authority 
is certainly to do this not only "in secret", within the walls 
of the church and sacristy, but also in the open, crying "from 
the rooftops" (to use the Lord's words), in the front line, in 
the midst of the struggle that rages between truth and error, 
virtue and vice, between the "world" and the Kingdom of 
God, between the prince of this world and Christ its 
Saviour. . . . 

Priests and people must realise that the Church is fitted 
and authorised, as also are the Bishops for the faithful en- 
trusted to them, in accordance with Canon Law, to promote 
ecclesiastical discipline and see to its observance, that is, to 


establish an external norm of action and conduct for matters 
which concern public order and which do not have their 
immediate origin in Natural or Divine Law. Clergy and laity 
may not exempt themselves from this discipline; rather all 
should be concerned to obey it, so that by the loyal observ- 
ance of the Church's discipline the action of the Shepherd be 
easier and more efficacious, and the union between him and 
his flock stronger; that within the flock harmony and co- 
operation reign, and each be an example and support to his 


Broadcast message on "The Christian Conscience", March 23, 195* : 

Conscience may be described as the innermost and hidden 
centre of man's being. There he takes refuge with his 
spiritual faculties in absolute solitude: alone with himself, 
or better still, alone with God, Whose voice conscience echoes, 
and with himself. There he decides for good or for evil; there 
he chooses to set foot either on the road to victory or the road 
to defeat. Even if he wished, man would never succeed in 
getting rid of conscience. In the company of his conscience, 
whether it approve or condemn, he will travel all the way 
along the path of life, and again in its company, as with a 
truthful and incorruptible witness, he will present himself 
before the judgment seat of God. . . . 

Our Divine Saviour brought to ignorant and weak man 
His truth and His grace : truth to point out the road leading 
to his goal; grace to give him the strength to reach that goal. 
To travel on that road means, in practice, to accept the will 
and the commandments of Christ, to conform one's life to 
them. . . . 

But where, in the concrete and with ease and certainty, 
will both the educator and the one to be educated find the 
Christian moral law? In the law of the Creator, engraved in 
the heart of each one, and in Revelation, that is to say, in the 
whole body of truths and precepts taught by the Divine 
Master. Whether it be the law written on the heart, that is 
to say, the Natural Law, or the truths and precepts of super- 
natural Revelation, Jesus our Redeemer has laid up both 



these sources of the moral law as a moral treasure for the 
human race, placed in the hands of His Church, in order that 
she may preach them to all creatures, make them clearly 
known and hand them on intact, safeguarded against all con- 
tamination and error, from one generation to another. 

Against this doctrine, which remained unquestioned for 
long centuries, there now arise difficulties and objections 
which it is necessary to explain. 

Just as they would do regarding its dogmatic teaching, 
there are some who would like to make a radical revision of 
Catholic moral law, in order to arrive at a new appraisal of 
its value. The first step, or rather the first blow, against the 
structure of Christian moral standards would be as some 
plead to free them from the narrow and oppressive over- 
seeing by the authority of the Church in such a way that, 
freed from the sophistic subtleties of casuistic method, the 
moral law may be brought back to its original form and left 
simply to the intelligence and determination of each one's 
individual conscience. 

It is plain for all to see to what fatal consequences any 
such disruption of the very foundations of education would 

We shall not dwell on the evident inexperience and im- 
maturity of judgment of those defending similar opinions. It 
will be useful, however, to call attention to the central weak- 
ness of this "new morality". By leaving all ethical criteria to 
the conscience of the individual, jealously closed up within 
itself and made absolute master of its own decisions, this new 
morality, far from making things any easier for conscience, 
would only lead it away from the main road, which is Christ. 

Our Divine Redeemer entrusted His revelation, of which 
moral obligations are an essential part, not to individual men 
but to His Church, to which He gave the mission to bring 
men to accept faithfully this sacred deposit. Similarly, the 
Divine aid which is meant to preserve revelation from error 


and deformation was promised to the Church and not to 
individuals. . . . 

The "new morality" affirms that, instead of encouraging 
the law of human freedom and love, and insisting upon it as 
the driving force of moral law, the Church appeals almost 
exclusively, and with excessive rigidity, to the firmness and 
intransigence of Christian moral laws, with frequent recourse 
to such phrases as "You are bound" and "It is not allowed", 
which smack too plainly of a pedantry that debases. 

Now the Church wishes instead and sets forth expressly 
when it is a question of forming conscience that the Chris- 
tian should be introduced to the infinite riches of faith and of 
grace by persuasion, so that he may feel drawn to sound their 

The Church, however, cannot refrain from warning the 
faithful that these riches cannot be acquired or preserved ex- 
cept at the price of definite moral obligations. Any other line 
of action would mean that a dominant principle was for- 
gotten, and one upon which Jesus Christ, her Lord and 
Master, always insisted. He in fact taught that it was not 
sufficient to say "Lord, Lord" to enter into the Kingdom of 
Heaven, but rather that the will of the Heavenly Father had 
to be done. He spoke of the "narrow gate" and of the "strait 
way" which leads to life. . . . 

And the Apostle of the Gentiles, St. Paul, did he, per- 
chance, preach differently? Unveiling the hidden charm of 
the supernatural life with his strong powers of persuasion, he 
set forth the greatness and the splendour of the Christian 
faith, the riches, the power, the blessings, the happiness con- 
tained therein, offering them to souls as a worthy object of 
the free striving of the Christian, and as an irresistible goal 
of transports of pure love. Still, it is nonetheless true that his 
also are warnings, such as this: "With fear and trembling 
work out your salvation/' and that from the same pen flowed 
lofty moral instruction directed to all the faithful, whether to 


those of ordinary powers of understanding or souls of keen 

Taking, then, as a strict norm, the words of Christ and of 
the Apostle, should it not perhaps be said that the Church 
today is inclined to leniency than to severity? So that the 
accusation made by the "new morality" against the Church, 
that she is harsh and severe, is in fact made against the ador- 
able Person of Christ Himself. . . . 

Even more so than in the field of private conduct there are 
many today who would banish the rule of the moral law from 
public economic and social life, from the actions of public 
authorities both within and without the State, in peace and 
in war, as if God had nothing to say in these things at least, 
nothing definite. 

Sometimes efforts are made to justify the emancipation from 
morality of external human activities, such as the sciences, 
politics and art, on philosophical grounds, on the basis of the 
autonomy which belongs to them in their particular sphere, 
of being governed according to their own laws, though it is 
admitted that these generally agree with the moral laws. 

As an example of this, art is said not only to have no 
dependence upon but also no relation with morality. Ait is 
purely art, they say, and not morality or anything else, and 
hence it is to be ruled solely by the laws of aesthetics, and 
these, if they are truly such, will not pander to concupiscence. 

The same, it is said, holds for politics and economics, which 
have no need of seeking counsel from other sciences, includ- 
ing ethics, for they are guided by their own laws, and by that 
very fact are good and just. 

Obviously, this is a subtle way of withdrawing conscience 
from the rule of moral law. In fact it cannot be denied that 
such autonomy is just in so far as it expresses the distinctive 
methods of each activity and the limits which theoretically 
separate their different forms: but the separation of method 
should not mean that the scientist, the artist, the politician 
are free from moral anxiety in the exercise of their craft, 


especially if this has repercussions in the ethical field, as is 
true of art, politics and economics. Such a clear-cut theoretical 
separation is meaningless in life, which is always a synthesis. 
The unique object of every kind of activity is man himself, 
whose free and deliberate acts cannot escape moral evaluation. 

If we study the problem in a broad practical manner 
sometimes lacking even in philosophers of note such dis- 
tinctions and autonomies are used by fallen nature in order 
to regard as a law of art, politics or economics that which 
happens to be accommodating to concupiscence, egoism and 
greed. Thus the theoretic autonomy in regard to morality 
becomes in practice a rebellion against morality. Likewise is 
shattered that inherent harmony of the sciences and arts of 
which the philosophers of that school are vividly aware. . . . 

Hence our predecessors and we ourself, in the confusion of 
war and in the troubled aftermath of war, did not cease to 
insist upon the principle that the order willed by God em- 
braces life as a whole, not excluding public life in whatever 
form. Such insistence was based upon the persuasion that 
this entails no restriction of true freedom nor any interfer- 
ence in the competence of the State. Rather it is an insurance 
against errors and abuses, against which Christian morality, 
when rightly applied, offers protection. 

These truths should be taught to young people and im- 
pressed upon their consciences by the person, in the family 
or in the school, who has the obligation of educating them. 
Thus they would sow the seed of a better future. 

Address to the delegates attending the international congress of the 
World Federation of Catholic Young Women, at the Vatican, April 
18, 1955: 

We have already spoken of the "new morality". . . . What 
we say today is not merely a continuation of what we said 
then. We wish today to uncover the hidden sources of this 


conception. We might term it "ethical existentialism", "ethi- 
cal actualism", "ethical individualism" all understood in 
the restrictive sense that we shall later explain and as ex- 
pressed in what has otherwise been called "situation ethics" 
or "morality according to situations". 

The distinctive mark of this morality is that it is not based 
in effect upon universal moral laws, such as, for example, the 
Ten Commandments, but on the real and concrete conditions 
or circumstances in which men must act, and according to 
which the conscience of the individual must judge and 
choose. Such a state of things is unique, and is applicable only 
once for every human action. That is why the decision of 
conscience, as the advocates of this ethic assert, cannot be 
commanded by ideas, principles and universal laws. . . . 

If a seriously trained conscience decided that abandoning 
the Catholic faith and joining another religion brings it closer 
to God, then such a step would be "justified", even though it 
is generally classified as "giving up the faith". Or again, in 
the domain of morality, another example is the bodily and 
spiritual gift of one's self among young people. Here, a 
seriously trained conscience would decide that, because of a 
sincere mutual inclination, physical and sensual intimacies 
are in order, and these, although allowed only between 
married persons, would become allowable expressions of this 

The open conscience of today would decide in this way 
because from the hierarchy of values it draws the principle 
that personality values, being the highest, could either make 
use of lower bodily or sensual values or rule them out, accord- 
ing to the suggestions of each individual situation. It has 
been insistently claimed that, precisely in virtue of this prin- 
ciple, in what concerns the rights of married persons, it 
would be necessary, in case of conflict, to leave to the serious 
and upright conscience of the parties, according to the de- 
mands of concrete situations, the power to frustrate directly 


the realisation of biological values for the benefit of per- 
sonality values. 

Such judgments of conscience, howsoever contrary they 
may seem at first sight to Divine precepts, would be valid 
before God because they say in the eyes of God, a seriously 
formed conscience takes precedence over "precept 7 * and 

The new ethic is so foreign to the faith and to Catholic 
principles that even a child, if he knows his catechism, will 
be aware of it and will feel it. 

It is not difficult to recognise how this new moral system 
derives from existentialism, which either prescinds from God 
or simply denies Him, and in any case leaves man to himself. 
It is possible that present-day conditions may have led men 
to attempt to transplant this "new morality" into Catholic 
soil in order to make the hardships of Christian life more 
bearable for the faithful. In fact, millions of them are being 
called upon today and in an extraordinary degree to practise 
firmness, patience, constancy and the spirit of sacrifice if they 
wish to preserve their faith intact. For they suffer the blows 
of fate, or are placed in surroundings which put within their 
reach everything that their passionate heart yearns for or 
desires. Such an attempt can never succeed. 

It will be asked how the moral law, which is universal, can 
be sufficient and even have binding force in an individual 
case which, in the concrete, is always unique and "happens 
only once'*. 

It can be sufficient and binding, and it actually is, because 
precisely by reason of its universality, the moral law includes 
necessarily and "intentionally" all those particular cases in 
which its meaning is verified. In very many cases it does so 
with such convincing logic that even the conscience of the 
simple faithful sees immediately, and with full certitude, the 
decision to be taken. 

This is especially true of the negative obligations of the 
moral law, namely, those which oblige us not to do something 


or to set something aside. Yet it is true not only of these 
obligations. The fundamental obligations of the moral law 
are based upon the essence and the nature of man and on his 
essential relationships, and thus they have force wherever we 
find man. 

The fundamental obligations of the Christian law, in the 
degree in which they are superior to those of the natural law, 
are based upon the essence of the supernatural order estab- 
lished by the Divine Redeemer. 

From the essential relationship between man and God, 
between man and man, between husband and wife, between 
parents and children; from the essential community relation- 
ships found in the family, in the Church and in the State, it 
follows, among other things, that hatred of God, blasphemy, 
idolatry, abandoning the true faith, denial of the faith, per- 
jury, murder, bearing false witness, calumny, adultery and 
fornication, the abuse of marriage, the solitary sin, stealing 
and robbery, taking away the necessities of life, depriving 
workers of their just wages, monopolising vital foodstuffs and 
unjustifiably increasing prices, fraudulent bankruptcy, unjust 
manoeuvring in speculation all this is gravely forbidden by 
the Divine Lawmaker. No examination is necessary. No 
matter what the situation of the individual may be, there is 
no other course open to him but to obey. 

For the rest, against the "ethics of situations", we set up 
three considerations of maxims: 

First: We grant that God wants, first and always, a right 
intention. But this is not enough. He also wants the good 
work. A second principle is that it is not permitted to do evil 
in order that good may result. Now this new ethic, perhaps 
without being aware of it, acts according to the principle 
that the end justifies the means. A third maxim is that there 
may be situations in which a man, and especially a Christian, 
cannot be unaware of the fact that he must sacrifice every- 
thing, even his life, in order to save his soul. . . . 

By means of His Church, through which He continues to 


act, Jesus Christ remains the Lord, the Head and the Master 
of every individual man, whatever be his age and state. The 
Christian, for his part, must take up the serious and sublime 
task of putting into practice, in his personal life, his profes- 
sional life and social and public life, in so far as it may depend 
upon him, the truth, the spirit and the law of Christ. This is 
what we call Catholic morality, and it leaves a vast field of 
action for personal enterprise and the personal responsibility 
of the Christian. 


Christmas message, December 24, 1941 : 

When we examine the reasons for that collapse with which 
mankind nowadays is hopelessly confronted, we sometimes 
hear the contention that Christianity has failed. 

Where have we to look for the origin and source of this 

Is it among those glorious Apostles of Christ, among the 
heroic fighters for truth and justice, among those many shep- 
herds and priests of Christianity who with their own blood 
sealed their life's task to awaken barbarous tribes to 
Christianity, who taught savages to kneel down before the 
Cross of Christ, who laid the foundation of Christian civilisa- 
tion and rescued the remnants of Roman and Greek scholar- 
ship, who united the nations in the Name of Christ, who 
spread science and virtue, who crowned beautiful cathedrals 
with the Cross those very cathedrals that still stand as 
symbols of faith, which still raise their lofty and venerated 
spires in the midst of the ruins of Europe? 

Is it these who make that accusation? 

No, Christianity that arises from Him Who is the Way, the 
Truth and the Light and Who is with us and shall remain 
with us to the consummation of the world, has not failed in 
its mission. But men have rebelled against Christianity, which 
is true and faithful to Christ, and against its doctrines. In its 
place they have fashioned a Christianity to their liking: a 
new ideal that is not sane, which is not opposed to the passions 



of envy and desire, nor to the greed of gold and silver, nor to 
the pride of life. A new religion without a soul, or a soul 
without religion. A mass of dead Christianity without the 
Spirit of Christ. And they have proclaimed that Christianity 
has failed! 

Christmas message, December 24, 1953: 

If during the past hundred years and more, Christian social 
doctrine has developed and borne fruit in the practical poli- 
cies of many nations unfortunately not all those who have 
come very late on the scene have no reason today to complain 
that Christianity leaves something to be desired in the social 
field which, according to them, must be supplied by a so- 
called revolution in Christian consciences. 

The failure is not in Christianity but in the minds of the 

Maurice Quinlan was born in 1901 
at Woodford in Essex. Between 1944 
and 1949 he was editor and news 
editor of "The Universe", and from 
1950 to 1957 news editor of "The 
Catholic Herald' '. He has contri- 
buted to many newspapers and maga- 
zines in various countries, including 
Great Britain and the U.S.A., 
principally on the affairs of the Holy 

He is married, with two daughters, 
and lives at Whitton in Middlesex. 

132 193